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NDSP warns of increased theft during finals

Katie Perry | Thursday, December 9, 2004

With final exams rapidly approaching, Notre Dame students strive for an increase in their grade point average while Notre Dame Security Police aims for a decrease in campus crime.In a memo posted on its website, NDSP warned students of heightened criminal activity prior to, during and after finals week. According to NDSP Assistant Director Phillip Johnson, instances of theft and robbery are more frequent at this time of year because criminals tend to capitalize on students’ increased immersion in their studies.”We see more theft at the end of the semester because some criminals are opportunists,” Johnson said. “They take advantage of how busy students are and how they can be distracted preparing for final exams, the holidays and travel home.”In addition, the memo cautioned students to be especially vigilant of their belongings in the library, study areas around campus and dining halls, as these have been prime locations for theft in past years.Thefts occurring over winter break are often more serious than those before and throughout final exams. Last year, a number of College Park residents were shocked to find their apartments had been robbed over winter break. The string of break-ins left some students without their video game systems, laptop computers and DVDs.In an effort to prevent similar robberies at off-campus housing complexes, NDSP has offered secured storage for those students who do not reside on the Notre Dame campus. According to NDSP, valuables will be placed in a storage room that will be both locked and alarmed for the entire duration of break. Off-campus students are also invited to thwart any potential robberies by requesting a Home Watch from local authorities. Despite the small number of robberies reported in dorms over break, NDSP asked all on-campus students to also remain prudent and use common sense to protect their belongings. “Break-ins on campus are infrequent,” Johnson said. “But most often, burglary in a residence hall happens when someone enters an unlocked room.”For those students opting to leave their cars at Notre Dame while they travel home for the holidays, NDSP will lock and give “special attention” to the D2 parking lot. NDSP cannot guarantee no car break-ins will occur, however; so valuables should be removed from the vehicle beforehand, said Johnson.According to Johnson, the simplest and best way to avoid stolen valuables is to avoid leaving them on campus over break.”If it’s something you can’t live without, take it with you,” Johnson said.