OPS Warns of Year-End Thefts
April 21, 2017
MACOMB, IL -- With warmer weather finally upon us, we may leave our car windows down and our homes open without a second thought. And thieves may take those opportunities to "relieve" us of belongings in our homes and vehicles. Recently, the McDonough County Sheriff's Department arrested three individuals for their alleged connection with burglaries from unlocked vehicles throughout the county, including on the WIU-Macomb campus.
The Western Illinois University Office of Public Safety (OPS) and the Macomb Police Department (MPD) remind students and University employees to guard personal property by locking offices, desks and room doors, as well as their vehicles and homes off campus, when leaving, even for a few moments.
The majority of thefts reported to OPS are from unlocked residence hall rooms, lockers and vehicles, as well as backpacks left unattended.
Members of the campus community are encouraged to complete an electronic device registration form, recording the make, model and serial numbers of their electronic devices. The form should be retained by the owner in the event their electronic devices are lost or stolen. The information will assist in completing a report and entering the property in a nationwide database.
In addition, for those residing off campus who may be leaving town for an extended period of time, OPS and MPD offer the following words of wisdom:
• Take your valuables home. Laptops, music players, video game systems and televisions are the most commonly stolen items.
• Avoid leaving items in plain view in vehicles.
• Don't leave items (backpacks, purses, etc.) unattended.
• Make sure all doors and windows are locked.
• If leaving town for more than a few days, stop mail and newspaper delivery.
• Engrave your driver's license number on those valuable items that cannot be taken home. Through MPD's Operation ID, individuals can check out an engraver from the department (120 S. McArthur St.) from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. In addition, officers advise making a list of valuables, including the make, model, serial number or detailed description. Items with an engraved serial number are harder to sell/pawn, and a detailed description, including photos, may help police track down stolen items.
• Leave lights on in your residence and/or put them on a timer. If a residence looks like it is occupied, then a burglar may bypass it.
• Ask a trusted friend to periodically check on the residence.
To report suspicious activity or a burglary on campus, contact OPS at (309) 298-1949; off-campus residents should contact MPD at (309) 833-4505. For emergencies, dial 9-1-1.