The most reported crimes at some U.S colleges include burglary and motor vehicle theft but at NJCU it’s larceny. Public Safety officials define larceny as the “unlawful taking, carrying, leading, or riding away of property from the possession, or constructive possession, of another person.”
As of February 24, eight cases of larceny were reported on campus this semester with more than double that number being reported last semester.
“During my second semester here as a freshman, I was called to the professional studies building because they had found my wallet which I had lost. But there was no money in it and my bus pass was gone,” said Knud Ferdinand, 22, of Cliffside Park. “I use a wallet with a chain now and always carry my backpack with me.”
While The Clery Act requires colleges and universities to disclose specific timely and annual information about campus crime and security policies, no specific details were available when asked about the nature and locations of the larcenies that have been reported (in larceny cases no “forcible act” is committed, therefore it’s not reportable under The Clery Report).
However, larcenies on campus are categorized by net loss value and range from under $200 to over $500 and involve items such as stolen book bags, cellular phones, clothing, text books, laptops, etc. While these are not included as reportable offenses, NJCU’s Public Safety Department tracks them nonetheless.
Any student who loses a belonging can visit NJCU’s Lost and Found box, which can be found at the security desk in the Public Safety Department in Vodra Hall (open 24/7). However, proper identification is required to retrieve your lost item(s).
“Our goal is to (be) Clery compliant, protect and serve the campus community, and continue to make NJCU one of the safest campuses in the state in accordance with our motto, ‘Security is Everybody’s Business,’” said Denise Gourdine, associate supervisor for NJCU’s Public Safety Department.
Public Safety has provided students with tips to help fend against these all-too common incidents:
Carrying Valuables Safely:
· Handbags should be closed, carried in front of the body with an arm held loosely across. If wearing a handbag with a strap over the head, choose a thin strap, and wear it under your coat. Many women find they don’t need to carry a handbag all the time.
· Place essentials (keys, a small amount of cash, an I.D.) in a pocket. Since your address is usually on a card or document in your bag, avoid carrying your house keys in the same place. Make sure the clasp or zipper on your bag is closed, especially in crowds.
· If you must carry a large amount of cash or valuable items, do not carry them in your handbag or wallet. Carry valuables in an inside pocket.
Minimize What Can Be Lost:
· Carry only what you actually need.
· Carry only small amounts of cash.
· Carry only the credit cards you actually plan to use.
· Leave expensive jewelry at home.
· Try not to carry anything that is irreplaceable or of sentimental value.
What Thieves Look For:
· Items left in cars, grocery carts, dressing rooms or desks.
· Wallets and checkbooks that protrude from pockets.
· The noise and confusion of crowds to help conceal their crimes.
· Distraction: Pickpockets often work in teams; one might bump, shove, drop something, or ask you a question, while another steals wallets from pockets or handbags.