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Thefts cost University more than $5,000

Burglars target computer equipment in Landis Academic Center.

Ashley Morgado
Staff Writer

University officials have reported a theft of roughly $1,000 worth of technology from a first floor classroom in the Landis Academic Center.

Just prior to the holiday break in December, a computer and DVD/VCR were stolen, according to Chief Information Officer Clive Houston Brown.

Additionally, the classroom podium, which was damaged during the burglary, will have to be replaced at a cost of $4,600. While the room itself suffered minor damages.

Campus safety director Michael Nunez said that the burglary occurred around 10 a.m. Dec. 17.

“It looked like someone tried to take the projector because it was left hanging from the ceiling,” Nunez said.

He also noticed that the tiles in the ceiling were tampered with.

“I feel shocked” sophomore athletic training major Ariel Guldstrand said. “It makes me more worried about my belongings now.”

With campus safety patrolling the grounds every hour of the day and seven days a week, people are curious as to how this theft happened.

Nunez explained that even with constant patrolling, between classroom use and maintenance there was a possibility the door was left unlocked.

“Our officers do spot checks of the rooms, but it’s difficult to keep track of every room when we have people cleaning them,” Nunez said.

Night classes prevent the maintenance staff from getting into these classes at a relatively early hour and morning classes force the classrooms to be opened for longer periods of time.

“The problem we face is we have an open campus setting,” Nunez said. “There are no gates surrounding the University and the public walks through the campus. It is because of this that we have these ‘crimes of opportunity,’” Nunez said.

College of Business and Public Management Dean Ibrahim Helou was one of the first people notified of the theft.

“What kind of person would do that?” Helou asked. “And what surprises me was that the person got away.”
For now, that might be. However, because campus safety was able to put a time frame on the burglary, they backtracked the surveillance camera footage and came across a hopeful discovery.

“There is a picture in the Campus Center of the suspected person,” junior speech communications major and employee of the Campus Center Chelsea Sleight said.

“I am happy to know that we now know who to look for,” she added.

Campus safety thinks that the photo they froze of someone walking past Barbara’s Place on the day of the crime is indeed the perpetrator and will help with this investigation.

“What we need to do is keep our eyes open and report any suspicious behavior to Campus Safety,” Helou said.

The investigation is now in the hands of the La Verne Police Department and there is no word yet if anyone has been caught.

To reach an officer on duty for Campus Safety, call 909-208-4903, extension 6666.

Nunez wants everyone who sees anything out of the ordinary to call Campus Safety.

“We want everyone to practice security,” Nunez said.

Ashley Morgado can be reached at ashley.morgado@laverne.edu.

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