Thief Problems In The P.E. Building

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Posted Thu, May 1, 2014

Students working out in P.E. Building. [Photo by Kevin Sanchez]

Students working out in P.E. Building. [Photo by Kevin Sanchez]

DENVER, Auraria Campus — Personal belongings seem to keep disappearing at the Recreation Center in Auraria campus that it has become a matter of importance to the director of Campus Recreation at Auraria, Tony Price.

From Dec. 5 2013 to March 31 2014 there have been 10 reported thefts on Auraria’s Campus Education Center crime blog. Thefts that happened the most were done to belongings that were being left on the floor while the owner works out. On Feb. 10 2014 an officer responded to a theft call at the P.E. Building where the subject reported their headphones being taken out from their bag while they were working out.

There are also reports about personal belongings being stolen out of unsecured lockers. On Jan. 23 2014 officers responded to a theft call at the P.E. Building, the victim reported that they placed their backpack in the m en’s locker room and that the locker was left unsecured, because of this it led up to the backpack being stolen. The lockers in the workout rooms also have notes stating it’s a high theft area. The lockers are also old and the P.E. department has done some estimates on getting lockers replaced and to having a more composite plastic locker with slats that you can’t see into and are also harder to break into, Price said.

 The lockers in the workout rooms also have notes stating it’s a high theft area. [Photo by Kevin Sanchez]

The lockers in the workout rooms also have notes stating it’s a high theft area. [Photo by Kevin Sanchez]

According to Price, there are a number of none students that dress up as students that are there to steal someone’s belongings. The thieves try to stake out in the locker-room area and wait for students to place their belongings in a locker with no lock. “There are even times where people will come in and bring in small sized bolt cutters and lock cutters that will fit into their backpacks and their pretty good at cutting locks without anyone seeing them,” Price said.

There are currently cameras located in the hallways of the recreation center. This has led to people being identified for stealing backpacks. Problem is though if a black backpack is stolen it’s very hard to see if it’s the actual subject’s backpack, Price said. Campus Recreation is spending $21,000 to $22,000 to upgrade the camera systems to get clearer images. Furthermore additional cameras will be added into the east and west entrances of the facility, Price said. Woman’s Basketball coach Tanya Haave mentioned that it’s at the thinking stages of placing cameras in the gymnasiums for further security.

Monitoring the Auraria Recreation Center is a difficult task as there are multiple points off entry. Currently the facility has no access control center where university ID is required to have access to the facility. Furthermore Price said that going in that direction may happen at some point. Currently all new ID in the campus have a radio frequency chip, and what we’re testing now in our fitness center is that a

Campus Director Tony Price Tony Price recommends not to leave backpacks unattended in the locker rooms. [Photo by Kevin Sanchez]

Campus Director Tony Price recommends not to leave backpacks unattended in the locker rooms. [Photo by Kevin Sanchez]

student taps their ID on our scanner and it lets us know that they’ve paid their fees, Price said. As well were looking into turn style access to the locker rooms so where it will be tied in with our card reader technology, you tap your card and you get access to our locker space.

The P.E. Event Center is more of an academic building than a student’s recreation center. Most college universities and campuses have more of a traditional recreation center where facilities are built for recreation specific programs where as Auraria’s Recreation Center was first built purely for academic programs, said Price. Three different departments that share the Recreation Center building are Human Performance in Sport, Metro State Athletics, and Campus Recreation at Auraria. This means that there are a lot of stake holders in the mix when it comes to facility operations and scheduling.

Although everything is in the planning stages for an overhaul of the Recreation Center here are a few tips to keep your belongings safe complimentary from Tony Price:

*Invest into a U-Lock or a heavy pad lock.

*Cover valuables up even if stuff is in locker

*Don’t bring in laptops.

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