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UW Police, Coe Library Offer Advice to Prevent Theft

October 5, 2015

The University of Wyoming Police Department (UWPD) reports an increase in thefts of belongings left unattended by students.

Apple electronics are among items being targeted by thieves, says Mike Samp, UW police chief. 

“Coe Library, the Agriculture Building and the Wyoming Union have all experienced thefts,” Samp says. “Efforts are being made to enhance the security of campus buildings through security cameras, but the best thing people can do is to not leave their property unattended or unsecured.”

Coe Library patrons are among those targeted frequently, says UW Libraries Interim Dean Lori Phillips. She advises students to be aware of their surroundings while studying in the library and elsewhere on campus.

“All too often, students do not take the threat of theft seriously and will leave their belongings unattended to visit the restroom or to chat with friends nearby,” she says. “This has resulted in theft of that student’s laptop or other valuables.”

Phillips encourages students to report suspicious activity or persons in Coe Library to the Help Desk by calling (307) 766-2070 or contacting someone in person on the library’s main level. Do not leave laptop computers, smartphones, tablets or other items unattended for any reason. 

The UWPD offers the following suggestions to avoid theft of electronic devices:

-- Do not unlock or prop open exterior building doors after hours.

-- Ensure offices are locked and, if possible, secure valuable assets within offices. The targeted items to date have been computers, especially Apple computers, but all assets should be secured where possible.

Specific recommendations for computers:

-- Record serial numbers and model numbers.

-- Take pictures of computers and printers.

-- Back up valuable data to a network drive or flash drive regularly.

-- Lock laptops in drawers or cabinets, or take them home at night.

-- Secure desktop computers to fixed objects with cables and locks.

-- Use security software/downloads.

-- Password protect devices.

-- Take keys home at night or lock them in a drawer or cabinet.

-- Take all valuable non-UW personal property home.

-- Document research or intellectual property, and keep additional electronic or hard copies in a secure place.

-- Be aware of people in the building who may be visitors or otherwise unfamiliar, and ask if they need assistance finding someone.

-- Immediately report thefts to UWPD at (307) 766-5179. 

To report information regarding thefts and other concerns, text UWPD anonymously using keyword UWYO to 847411(TIP411).

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