Student - May 31, 2018

‘Watch out for campus thieves’

Luuk Zegers,Konstantina Togka

Cases of items being stolen in and around the teaching buildings on campus have occurred regularly in recent months. This is clear both from Wageningen police figures and students’ stories. Forum location manager Ludy Zeeuwen thinks the number of thefts has increased. She advises students to be careful.

Students often leave their laptops behind in the library when they take a break. © Luuk Zegers

In the first few months of 2018, Wageningen police received reports of the theft of four laptops, six bikes, one wallet and one mobile phone on campus. More items have probably been taken in practice, says Zeeuwen, because she has the impression that people do not always report this to the police.

Orion and Forum in particular, both of which have unrestricted access, seem to be popular with thieves. The above-mentioned thefts of the laptops, wallet and phone all took place in these buildings. The bicycles were stolen from Atlas, Helix and Axis.

‘Students working in a quiet place assume they can leave their laptop for a moment,’ explains Zeeuwen. ‘I can understand that, if you pop off to the toilet or just need a break. But if you go off and leave your laptop for three quarters of an hour with your Master’s thesis on it and no backup, this can have nasty consequences.’

© Luuk Zegers

On 30 April, first-year Management, Economics and Consumer Studies student Aniek Hoonhorst was chatting to a friend in Forum. When she went to pick up her bag, which was next to her, she discovered her laptop was missing. ‘I was in shock.’ There was a similar incident one week later. Nutrition and Health student Eva Elseman had her laptop, wallet and keys stolen from her bag while she was doing an exam in Orion.

The community police officer Jos Smits does not think we are seeing a peak in the number of thefts. ‘But every theft is one too many. So even if you pop off just for a moment, take your laptop with you or leave it in a locker.’ Information screens in the teaching buildings warn students not to leave their valuables unattended. People who have had an item stolen are advised to report it to the police.