April 14, 2013 | by Matthew Murphy
Shepherd University and Theft

If you go to school, there is a chance that at one time or another you may have had something of value stolen from you. In high school, this writer had the same black iPod stolen twice. The first time, the perpetrator was caught. The second time, he was not so lucky. That is kind of how it goes with theft; sometimes the wrongdoer is caught and other times the person will get away with indiscretions.

This is a fairly common occurrence here at Shepherd University. According to the police on campus, bikes are commonly stolen from their owner. According to the school, roughly 12 percent of all reported thefts are bicycle related. Robbers will also break into students’ cars and take things.

When something is stolen from you, it is always a wise idea to report the issue to the police. Luckily, here at school, we have our own police department. Chief John McAvoy, a former member of the City of New York Police Department, heads the Shepherd University Police Department. However, if something of yours is stolen, chances are the chief won’t deal with it. He is heading up bigger things, like security for major events and the like.

Many students feel that the police department does not do much when things are stolen. Sophomore Ryan Earls recently had a football stolen, and he said, “I turned in a report. They filed it. I highly doubt they are actively looking for it. It sucks, but what can you do?”

Chances are, the sophomore from Stevensville, Md., is correct. Many students file reports, but just how many are actually remedied is another issue.

People do have to remember that they are responsible for their own property. Not locking up your bicycle definitely makes it a target for those who are looking to rip someone else off. Speaking too loudly about that cool new gadget you just bought makes it a target as well.

The saying “knowledge is power” is definitely true, so limiting the amount of knowledge a stranger has about you can only be a positive. You don’t need to brag out in the open about the new Apple iPad or Vera Wang bag you purchased. All you are doing is opening yourself up to being ripped off.

Trying to pin a robbery on a person is potentially inflammatory thing to do. Failing in your accusation will only make you look silly and foolish. According to Sergeant Brown of the police department here at school, “It’s like you’re the one who has been violated, but you need to tiptoe around. Making accusations can be dangerous.”

He is correct. Once something has been stolen, there is a very solid chance the rightful owner will not see it again. It may end up on the Internet somewhere for sale, but chances are the person who took the item will not let it be well known that they now have it in their possession.

You can never be too careful. Lock your doors, lock your bicycles and always do your best to be aware of the situation around you. All it takes is one distraction for your wallet to be swiped or your cell phone to be snatched. Planning ahead can save you a rather large headache later.

Matthew Murphy

Sports Editor

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