According to UWG Police Chief, Thomas Mackel, thefts in the Campus Center are down to almost none compared to last year. Students, who have visited the Campus Center this semester to work out, participate in work out classes and play basketball could have possibly noticed changes. Last year in the Campus Center against the back wall were “cubby holes” where students and visitors placed their belongings while they worked out or played basketball. Problems with theft in that area did occur.
“Theft was a major problem last semester in the Campus Center,” said UWG student Lia Fortson. “A great amount of my friends claimed to have their smart phone stolen while working out or playing basketball. I have often overheard others speaking on how they felt theft was a problem and how the problem needed to be fixed.”
University Police received several cases of stolen smart phones last semester. University Police tried several different strategies to stop thefts of smart phones in the Campus Center. Officers tried to pin point what were possibly the main causes of theft and why smart phones were the primary targets.
The Campus Center and University Police discussed possible solutions that could possibly put an end to the high number of thefts moving into the spring semester.
At the beginning of fall semester of 2014, students came into the Campus Center to see that the vulnerable cubby-holes were replaced with new electric lockers. Students were now able to safely store their belongings in a secure space in the purchased installed lockers.
“The change of the Campus Center’s cubby-hole area needed to be replaced since it was a very vulnerable area and easy for thefts to take place,” said J. Michael Keener UWG’s Sergeant of University of Police. “Dozens of thefts were reported per semester with the cubby holes being installed. With the new lockers in place, we are seeing the numbers of thefts drastically down, almost to none in the Campus Center.”
“Almost 50 thefts occurred a year in the Campus Center before the new lockers where installed,” said Mackel. Employees of the Campus Center were trying to figure out when these crimes took place. “Students would come in and play basketball, leave their phone on the bleachers, and would come back to see their phone was gone. We have done stakeouts and believe people who are not enrolled at UWG did the majority of the thefts. We spoke with people in the Campus Center and they decided to buy lockers.”
The new lockers require you to manually enter a passcode that needs to be remembered to place your belongings in while you are working out or playing basketball. Once students are done, they can go back to the locker with same passcode, enter it and retrieve their items. The code will automatically reset and be ready for the use of another person. The lockers are provided for use free of charge.
Chief Mackel also stated that he felt it was a great decision upon the Campus Center in purchasing the lockers because they have been very effective against theft.
“With the new lockers being installed, I can take my attention off my belongings and focus on my workout,” said UWG student Adorrea Smith. “I never liked to bring my items in the Campus Center because I feared they would be stolen, but now with the new lockers, I feel very safe.”