The saying “You never know the value of what you have till it’s gone” is often attributed to losing something important in your daily life and usually comes to mind when one loses something special. University Security Director Sandi Schnorenberg states that theft frequently occurs because the opportunity to steal often avails itself.
“Crimes of opportunity are ideal instances where the victim gives the perpetrator a chance to steal their item,” said Schnorenberg. “This could either be by leaving it either unattended since they are gone for a mere second or forgetting to act in a responsible manner by guarding their belongings at all times.”
Schnorenberg says that crimes of opportunity are the most common in society today.
Schnorenberg states that one of the reasons that people get their personal belongings stolen is the fact they are too trusting. This could be towards acquaintances to watch their items or to a certain situation where one would assume their belongings are in a safe spot.
“There are people with hidden agendas with the intent take away something you hold dear thus always keeping your guard up even in instances where you feel safe, is crucial to ensure your belongings are safe,” Schnorenberg said. She states that always being aware of your surroundings is important.
An example she gives of how victims usually present a plethora of opportunities to perpetrators to steal from is openly leaving gifts in the backseat of their car instead of placing them in the trunk where they are not easily visible. Schnorenberg said, “This is basically an invite people send out to perps to get robbed.”
Schnorenberg says that bike theft has been a prevalent issue this semester and surprisingly it even occurs during the daytime. “We had instances where the perp has come prepared which are harder to combat as with the right tools it does not take long to snap a bike lock and the perp is on their way,” Schnorenberg said.
University Security highly recommends anyone on campus to say something if they see something suspicious and not let the pedestrian effect dictate their actions. Schnorenberg states that with theft goes by the value of the article, and if a student is caught stealing they have violated a law in addition to campus policy.
“A student caught stealing could be arrested by the Mankato Police Department and would face student conduct issues which may lead to dire penalties such as expulsion,” Schnorenberg said. Schnorenberg states that reporting a stolen item will aid University Security determine what actions they need to take to prevent further theft from a certain location.
Schnorenberg states that desperation is a key factor that prompts people to steal, however there are other motivations including; easy ways to make cash by selling a stolen item or a perp may plainly be a kleptomaniac which is an impulse controlled disorder.
Schnorenberg shares a story of when she was a police officer of an individual who stole numerous times but then one day came to report that something was stolen from him. Schnorenberg said, “The incident seemed silly and all I could do was tell the man he must be joking since he felt the pain of losing his own items at the time, but when he stole, it did not occur to him he was causing others suffering.”
She states that the moral of the story is do unto others what you would want to be done unto you thus this is her advice to are those who are prone to stealing.
Schnorenberg also says students should check with University Security for items they may have had stolen or they misplaced. University Security collects a ton of items each semester that no one comes to claim.
Another note Schnorenberg mentions is to place an identifier on your belongings so that it is easy for you to spot if found or law enforcement can track it down if say it is a gadget with a serial number or a tracker.
Your belongings are worth some value to you thus do not wait until you lose them to feel the regret of not safeguarding them beforehand and are compelled to purchase new ones, precaution is better than cure.
Feature photo by Gage Cureton | MSU Reporter.