Preventing Theft

The crime most commonly reported to police here at Miami is theft. During a typical academic year literally hundreds of items are reported stolen, often totaling over $100,000 in losses! Students, faculty, and staff can all be victims of theft, usually because they left a book bag unattended, a bike unlocked, or an office unsecured. Here are a few simple things you can do to protect yourself from thieves looking for an opportunity to steal something.

First, bring to work only essential items you need to do your job; think carefully about how much you need, or would use expensive items designed for comfort or decoration. Secondly, lock up everything you can whenever you're leaving it unattended, even if you're only going to be gone for a few minutes. If you have a locker, bring a combination lock to use on it since most locker rooms are easily accessed by would-be thieves. If you have your own office, keep it locked when you aren't inside as thieves often wander into any unlocked room they can find to search for items which can be easily removed. Finally, report suspicious person(s) to police immediately. Simply dial 529-2222 - or in an emergency 911 - and tell the dispatcher where you are, what you've seen and, if possible, a description of the person and his/her last direction of travel. Whatever you do, don't confront a suspicious person yourself - you have no idea what reaction you may get if the person feels caught or cornered.

If you become a victim of theft, no matter how insignificant, report it immediately to the University Police. Regardless of how small you may think a theft, it may fit into a larger picture that could help us solve a whole string of thefts. If credit cards are among the stolen items, call and cancel them as soon as you discover they are missing. It might be helpful to keep a slip of paper at home that contains your credit card account numbers, along with the telephone numbers you should call to cancel them.

Remember, by exercising common sense precautions you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming a victim of theft.