Volume 93, Issue 95

Wednesday, March 29, 2000


Computers stolen from SSC offices

Research gets $18.5M boost

Western student still missing

Alcohol consumptions leads to - less sex?

Multiple arrests made at T.O. rave

Biotechnological food explained in magazine

Settlers have hard time finding jobs


Bass Ackwards

Caught on campus

Computers stolen from SSC offices

By Leena Kamat
Gazette Staff

Western's psychology department got a shock Monday morning upon discovering 10 offices had been broken into the night before.

Seven computers, including two laptops, were stolen from the psychology department from the seventh and eighth floors of the Social Sciences Centre sometime between 10 p.m. Sunday and 6 a.m. Monday, said Sgt. Stephen Dykeman of the University Police Department.

A crowbar was used to open the locks of 10 offices, Dykeman said, adding none of the rooms were damaged. The doors were not broken either, but marks from the crowbar were visible. Some victims did not know their office had been broken into until they noticed the missing computers.

The stolen equipment was valued at approximately $12,000, Dykeman said. No monitors or keyboards were taken, only central processing units. One computer, he said, whose motherboard had been removed, had only its memory card stolen.

"We were very, very upset by it," said James Olson, chair of the psychology department. "Some researchers have lost some of their work."

All of the stolen computers were less than a year old, Olson said. "They knew what they were looking for."

Along with the computers, a leather bag and a cart were also stolen, Olson said. "A cart was taken, probably to move the computers," he added.

The equipment would have to be replaced, Olson said, adding he hoped the loss would be covered by the university's insurance. "Obviously, it would be a big whack to the budget if it is not covered."

"I think it's really unfortunate," said Paul Hong, president of the social sciences students' council, adding these types of thefts usually happen in residences where computers are left in the open, not locked in offices. "Whoever did it must have been very organized."

Dykeman said there were no suspects as of yet and a fingerprint search turned up nothing. The criminals were probably wearing gloves, he said. Although uncertain how many people were involved, Dykeman guessed there were at least two perpetrators.

The police perform building checks throughout the night, mostly to ensure the exterior doors are locked, Dykeman said. He added it would be difficult to detect if the perpetrator entered the building by following someone who had a key.

There were no surveillance cameras in the area, but options were now being discussed to increase security, he said.

In order to prevent such an occurrence in the future, Dykeman suggested individuals should not allow people without keys to enter locked buildings. He added departments should have dead bolt locks on their doors and have an activated alarm system.

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