Number of thefts on campus are rising

Reports of thefts on campus have continued to escalate since the 2007-2008 school term.

According to Lt. Angela Kirkland of the FAMU Police Department, there were 277 larceny reports in the 2006-2007 school year and 230 in the 2007-2008 school year.

“Although we don’t have exact report counts for the 2008-2009 term so far, the counts show that it’s been about a 10 percent increase from last year,” Kirkland said.     

The lieutenant said the university’s crime prevention unit goes to the dorms each month to educate students about theft prevention techniques. 

They remind students to lock their dorm rooms before they leave and to always be aware of surroundings.

Kirkland encourages students to get operational ID, which is when an owner’s name is engraved on their possessions for detection purposes.

“Our goal is to make this as safe of an environment as possible so students can learn,” Kirkland said.  “It’s hard to concentrate on learning when worried about becoming a victim.”

Despite the police efforts, there are still many occurrences of theft on campus.
Jeffrey Mills, visiting history professor, said two of his students were victims of theft last semester.

Mills said one student’s phone was stolen after he left it in class. Another student was robbed after he left his door room unlocked.

“In any population as large as ours, you can expect that there will be some acts of bad conduct,” Mills said. “Students should be careful because there are students who look for people to take advantage of.”

Zenani Bishop, a 19-year-old sophomore engineering student from Washington, D.C. said her iPod and textbook were stolen in January at the library.

“I just bought my book, walked off for a second, came back and it was gone,” Bishop said.
According to Bishop, her physics book cost $178 and her iPod cost around $300.

“I would encourage students to watch your items and make sure you know where your belongings are at all times,” Bishop said.

Erica Taylor, a 19-year-old freshman biology student from Miami, said her best friends’ phone was stolen in February.

Taylor said her friend left her dorm room unlocked when she walked down the hall to retrieve a package that was mailed to her, only to find her Blackberry gone when she returned.

Taylor said, her friend completed a police report, however the item was never returned.

“The dorms should have some security so that we don’t have to lock our door when we go right down the hall,” Taylor said.

Tunji Fadiora, a 19-year-old sophomore pharmacy student from Tallahassee, said his camera was stolen on campus in spring 2008.

“I felt upset at myself for allowing it to happen,” Fadiora said. “But also upset that this kind of thing happens so often on campus.”

Kirkland said she would advise students to be cautious of their surroundings because the police cannot be everywhere all the time.