UW Police Services targets electronic theft

The University of Waterloo Police Services (UWPS) has launched a signage initiative in campus libraries and gyms to help prevent electronic theft around campus.

According to UWPS Officer Shaun Gosgnach, the biggest crime on campus is electronic theft.

“People are not getting mugged on campus,” said Gosgnach. “Theft happens primarily because students leave their valuable electronics unattended.”

“[We] noticed a particular problem in the libraries and gyms [and] sat down with the library in order to come up with a way of dealing with this issue.”

In the Jan. 31 issue of <em>Imprint</em>, Campus Crime reported thefts of cellphones, clothing, and a snowblower.

&ldquo;I was on a special task force that was assigned to look at big issues on campus and this was one of them,&rdquo; said Gosgnach, going on to say, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s important for people to be aware of electronic theft on campus.&rdquo;

Regarding the choice of strategy used to target this issue Gosgnach said, &ldquo;[We] wanted to use an immediate strategy, [and] a similar signage initiative was used in a BC university to prevent theft of electronics.&rdquo;

This new poster is vibrant, eye catching, and aims to gets its point &mdash; don&rsquo;t leave your electronics unattended &mdash; across easily.

&ldquo;[We] started in this direction in December, and we&rsquo;ve just started putting it into action&rdquo; said Gosgnach. &ldquo;The new signage initiative has been put into place to remind people why electronic theft happens and what they can do to keep their electronics safe.&rdquo;

&ldquo;It only takes the five minutes it took to go to the washroom or grab a coffee for someone to take a phone or a laptop,&rdquo; Gosgnach reminds students.

Naturally, the more expensive your items are, the more likely you are to be targeted. &ldquo;The type of electronics is pretty mixed, thieves are looking for value.&rdquo;

&ldquo;Students, who pay so much in tuition, come here to work and to study, and they shouldn&rsquo;t have to worry about this issue,&rdquo; Gosgnach said.

UWPS works to prevent electronic theft through patrols and signage initiatives such as this one, but the greatest tool against theft prevention is awareness.

Gosgnach reminds students: &ldquo;Don&rsquo;t leave your electronics unattended.&rdquo;



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