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Security warns that many thefts on campus occur when students leave belongings unattended in a public space.
the Gauntlet

Security report--EMS nearly bitten

We talk to U of C security for an update on who's passing out on campus

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It's clear from the fall semester's Campus Security reports that students should think twice before trying to return their graduation gowns after too many drinks, or accessorize their costume with a replica gun.

In November, CS and the Calgary Police Service searched for a subject reported to have been seen exiting a vehicle and traversing campus with a rifle. The individual was eventually located by the Science Theatres and it was determined the rifle was a replica brought along for Otofest, a celebration of Japanese cartoons.

"At this conference people bring homemade objects and this young fellow brought a homemade gun that was made out of cardboard and painted so that it looked like and was reported as a young man carrying a gun on campus," said Campus Security director Lanny Fritz.

"Long story short, we had a quick meeting with the organizers and [participants] will not be bringing these replicas onto campus in the future."

Also that month, during the fall convocation period, CS received reports of an intoxicated individual shouting and swearing while removing their clothing -- a graduation gown. CS responded and found the individual was simply trying to return the gown.

"It appears that after the ceremonies he decided to celebrate further, still wearing his grad gown," said Fritz. "Then, while in his intoxicated state . . . he took it off in MacHall and returned it."

At a drunken event in September, two males climbed onto the roof of MacHall.

"They were people that had just left the Den and they just decided to take a little hike up onto the roof," said Fritz.

They were told not to engage in any other drinking related events on campus.

Fritz noted that the first few weeks of September are typically the Den's busiest, and this led to another significant issue last semester. CS was called when two fights broke out at the same time in the Den, resulting in one student suffering a broken nose.

A non-student caused a considerable disturbance during a concert in MacHall in October when he was found passed out on the ground with blood on his face and hands. When CS woke him up the student vomited blood and became increasingly belligerent, eventually attempting to bite EMS workers.

"This was a 17-year-old male who was attending a concert, who was very intoxicated with alcohol and believed to be on drugs as well," said Fritz. "It took the assistance of four red shirts and campus security officers and police officers and EMS to physically restrain him on a stretcher and send him off to the hospital."

A Honda was stolen from campus in October, becoming notable when it was used in a high-profile robbery of a northwest Calgary pharmacy.

Petty theft was the order of the month in December as a man narrowly avoided apprehension after attempting to break into a vending machine and two students were caught wearing gloves and balaclavas trying to break into the dining center's kitchen. One student was arrested, but charges were not pressed. The matter was handed over to Residence Services and the Residents' Student Association.

Fritz noted an increase in theft of laptops and other personal items across campus this school year. The thefts commonly occur when students take a coffee or bathroom break but leave their property unattended. To try and counteract this type of theft, CS has been leaving information leaflets at workstations when they see a student has left their belongings.

"The average person who has never been a victim of a crime has a difficult time realizing there are people around every corner waiting for a crime of opportunity," said Fritz. "This [school] year we've had about 20 students who've had their laptops stolen. These people are extremely upset when they realize people have stolen their laptops, not so much for the $1,000 it costs, but for the information -- in one case there was an individual with two years worth of research."

CS believes many of the thefts can be attributed to a small group of individuals who repeatedly carry them out. Fritz emphasized students should always secure their possessions.

Total losses for 2009 were $291,175.35, down from $311,149.19 in 2008.

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