October 13, 2005

Police warn of increase in thefts from offices

by Tom Woolf

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- After seeing an increase in theft reports in the past few days, Southern Illinois University Carbondale reminds members of the campus community to lock their office doors if they leave for even a brief period of time.

Public Safety Director Todd D. Sigler said employees should safeguard their valuables. Police have seen an increase in the number of thefts of items such as purses and wallets, from offices. In the last two days, police received reports of thefts from Rehn Hall, Miles Hall and Life Science III, he said.

Since Oct. 1, police have received reports of eight thefts. The thefts involved purses and wallets and their contents, including cell phones, and in one case, a laptop computer.

"You need to be diligent about your surroundings and locking personal items up, and making sure your door is locked when you leave – even if you are just going down the hall," Sigler said. "A few seconds is all it takes."

He encourages members of the campus community to lock personal valuables up, regardless of whether someone is in the office. Sigler said it is also important to be aware of people wandering through the halls and to ask those persons if they need assistance. Report suspicious individuals or activity to the Department of Public Safety at 618/453-3771.

Promoting campus safety is among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.