March 16, 2004  
Volume 97, Issue 86  

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Thieves like laptops, wallets

By Dan Perry
Gazette Staff

The Usual Suspects have been at it again: swiping wallets, stealing laptops and causing a general ruckus.

According to Elgin Austen, spokesperson for the Campus Community Police Service, a rash of petty thefts have swept through Thompson Arena, the 3M Centre and Sports and Recreation Services, with wallets and other personal items stolen.

“We recovered most of them, minus the money and credit cards,” Austen said, adding precautions should be taken. “Obviously, people are roaming around looking for these things.”

Also this weekend, an individual crash-landed through Saugeen-Maitland Hall’s smoking hut after, as Austen described it, crawling around on the roof. “People shouldn’t be crawling around on things that weren’t made for it,” he said, adding the incident is still under investigation.

Information and Technology Services at Western published a document last week detailing safety precautions students should take with their laptops, which noted that 99 per cent of stolen laptops are never recovered.

ITS recommended physically securing equipment with locks, locking office and residence room doors when leaving (no matter how quickly you are coming back) cleaning up empty boxes from new equipment (which serve only as advertisments to thieves) and prominently marking identification on equipment to deter crooks who may have already entered.

Outside the Western bubble, London Police Department spokesperson Const. Paul Martin said in a press release that the LPD applied for a warrant to arrest 39-year-old Mark Osment in connection with the Mar. 8 robbery of the Scotiabank at 1880 Dundas St., one of a string of 11 as yet unsolved robberies in London since Dec. 30.

Martin could not be reached for comment regarding how the incidents related, but the release stated that three of the robberies (including the one Osment is suspected of) were similar, and six of the remaining nine also seemed to be connected.



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