Lock your doors

Feb 062007
Authors: Sean Reed

Imagine, if you will, you are leaving your house for the weekend to see your parents. You pack what you need and drive away without a care in the world. Two days later, however, you are face-to-face with harsh reality.

You go inside your house, only to find an empty space where your television should be. Also missing are your DVD player, Playstation and stereo. You feel sick, but you feel even worse when you see your bedroom. Your laptop, printer, iPod and digital camera have all vanished. You call the police and file a report, but you know deep down you will never see your possessions again.

If this happened to you, would you ever forget to lock the front door again?

Apparently, though, CSU doesn’t learn from its mistakes. Last year after a string of computer thefts, the Collegian published a story revealing many campus buildings were left unlocked after hours, allowing reporters access to valuable property. Three weeks ago Monday, facing the recovery of more stolen property, the Collegian repeated its investigation and found even more negligence than last year.

I, a young, na’ve columnist in need of a bit more excitement in my life, decided to follow the wily reporters one of the nights they prowled through the heart of campus. It was ridiculous how easy it was to get into buildings.

Rockwell Hall, the first we tried, was filled with a myriad of electronics that might as well have been gift wrapped for potential thieves. Unguarded televisions, computers and projectors were easier to find than typos in a copy of the Collegian.

Other buildings on campus, including Student Services, Plant Sciences, and even the Administration Building – the Holy Grail of all campus buildings for the reporters – were no harder to enter and would have been just as lucrative to prospective thieves as Rockwell.

I don’t know whose job it is to oversee the security of campus buildings at night. All I know is that somebody is really dropping the ball here. In one year, we have seen thousands of dollars in thefts, one lucky break, and, as of today, two news reports on the issue. I would hope this would be enough to convince whoever is in charge that things need to start changing. Whatever procedures have been in place up to this point have been failing.

Under the current system, we might as well leave staff on at night to help thieves load the stolen goods into their cars.

I understand the implementation of new security measures – such as electronic card key systems – would be expensive, but so are the thefts. Money is lost in replacing items never located, and those that are recovered also cost us money in terms of the police manpower for investigation, incarcerating the bandits, and then prosecuting them.

It is time to be a bit more proactive. People will inevitably try to find ways to circumvent whatever system is in place, but, call me crazy, I just don’t think we should have an open-door policy for crime.

Sean Reed is a junior political science major. His column runs occasionally in the Collegian. Replies and feedback can be sent to letters@collegian.com.

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