While most students were still recovering from Freakfest Sunday morning, one University of Wisconsin student had to deal with a different issue.
Dan Lewerenz, a UW graduate student, reported his computer and carrying bag stolen from his office in Vilas Hall between late Saturday night and Sunday morning.
“The door was closed and locked and there were no visible signs of a forced entry,” Lewerenz said. “The door to my office is one that locks automatically once closed, and I know that I had closed the door.”
The items stolen included Lewerenz’s computer carrying bag, which held computer attachments such as chargers and headphones, his laptop and one soda from the mini fridge.
Lewerenz sent an e-mail to all the graduate students in the School of Journalism detailing the incident and items stolen as a cautionary tale.
“The officer I reported [the theft] to told me about other thefts that had occurred in several UW buildings this weekend, so I was just trying to give a heads up to other students,” Lewerenz said.
After reporting the incident to the police and his insurance company, Lewerenz had to purchase a new computer. Luckily, he said he uses an external hard drive to back up his computer and was able to recover most of his files.
This break-in coincides with increased amount of thefts on campus, said UWPD Sgt. Ruth Ewing.
In general the amount of reported thefts on campus this year has been “more than normal,” but Ewing would not give an estimated number of thefts. She said the average amount of reported thefts is around 400 per year.
Ewing said she was unaware of the office theft, and knew only of thefts in common areas from Memorial Library to the far western edge of campus at the Health Sciences Learning Center.
“Most of the thefts are occurring in large open areas where people leave to take a phone call or use the bathroom and come back to find their stuff gone,” Ewing said. “The most commonly targeted items are things that are easily movable, such as laptops, purses and backpacks.”
Ewing said UWPD recommends students lock up or take valuables with them when leaving an area rather than leaving everything unattended.