Crime on Campus: How to get stolen items back

Imagine it’s spring break. A safe and successful California road trip with friends has so far consisted of a perfect day at the beach and a magical experience at Disneyland. Of course, all those Kodak moments have been captured on the best camera of the bunch. These are memories to last a lifetime, and there’s no better way to remember them than through everlasting photographs.

It’s the last day of the trip and you want to make it the best. Grabbing a quick lunch, while your camera was poking halfway out of your unzipped purse, your camera, and all your treasured moments, was stolen in less than 30 minutes.

Of course you’re devastated, and at this point you have one of two choices: Do something about it, or don’t.

This is my story, this was my spring break, and I chose to do something about it.

Being proactive and filing a police report in the city the camera was stolen was the first step. But this wasn’t enough for me; I was determined to get the camera back any way I could.

I checked eBay and Craigslist, assuming the thief wanted quick cash. Surprisingly, I stumbled upon a Craigslist ad that matched the missing camera. I forwarded it to the police, and they are now completing an investigation to buy it back undercover.

How does this apply? Why does this matter?

It matters for every student that has ever had a valuable possession stolen. It matters because the majority of us think, “Why bother? I’m never getting that back.” But by just starting to take action, you are increasing your chance.

Here are some tips from on-campus police officers about preventing theft and getting stuff back.

Avoid valuables from being stolen in the first place by taking preventative measures.

1 Don’t be so trusting as to leave your items with a stranger on campus. Just because it’s Happy Valley doesn’t mean people don’t steal.

2 Don’t leave your stuff in the open when leaving to go to the restroom or anywhere, even if just for a minute.

3 Don’t take a nap while leaving your backpack or bag in sight. At the very least, have it tucked under, or tied to, your arm so you can feel the tug if someone attempts to take it or its contents.

On the off chance that you may have something stolen, be prepared with steps that will help you get your valuables back.

1 Record all of your serial numbers for the following items: laptop, cell phone, iPod, camera, textbook or recorder. Without this, the police cannot help you.

2 Photograph all of your most treasured items.

3 Write out descriptive details for item that you wouldn’t want to lose. Be especially careful to photograph jewelry; it does not have serial numbers, so these photographs are crucial.

If, despite all precautions, you have been stolen from, here’s how to get your item back.

1 Immediately file a police report. The police take you seriously and care.

2 For campus crimes, file a report on the UVU Police website.

3 Monitor local pawnshops, Craigslist, KSL and eBay.

4 Follow through on any evidence you collect and immediately forward it to the police. It can pay off.

Remember that there is no lost hope if you are assertive, persistent and willing to go the extra mile. Just remember to take preventative measures, be prepared and take action.

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