Laptop thefts continue to rise

By Drew Teague

With the robbery on Columbia and Pennsylvania Avenue on Tuesday morning, the number of laptop thefts continues to rise.

This was the latest in a trend of laptop thefts on the UK campus since the beginning of this calendar year.

According to police reports, there have been 36 laptop thefts from all over campus since Jan. 1, 2010.

Prior to Tuesday’s robbery, there was a theft at the UK Bookstore, where a suspect broke in by throwing a brick to take two Mac’s from the Apple Store located within the bookstore.

The person responsible for this laptop theft must have known what they were doing, UK Police Chief Joe Monroe said.

Many of the thefts have occurred in unlocked rooms of buildings on UK’s campus, with only one being reported at both the library and dorms.

According to a police report from March 29, 2010, a laptop was stolen from the third floor of the William T. Young Library. The complainant advised police she left her laptop in the study area for approximately 35 minutes for a phone call, and when she returned her laptop was gone.

This victim had taken precautions in case her laptop was stolen, so they were able to give the police the laptops serial number, as well as having LoJack installed on her computer.

Another police report, filed on April 1, 2010, stated that a person entered the sleeping complainant’s room, in Kirwin II, between 1 a.m. and 4a.m. and stole her laptop.

Monroe feels students need to be more careful about leaving their possessions, especially expensive items like laptops, unattended in such public areas.

“[Students will] leave that laptop unattended, and it’s very easy, you know with the way laptops are compact now, somebody could just fold it up and stick it in their book bag and you’ll never know it,” said Monroe.

Other thefts have occurred in various popular class locations, including Funkhouser Building, Scovell Hall and the Grehan Journalism Building.

Several thefts have also occurred at the UK Chandler Medical Center, with a total of five different laptops being taken from Dec. 18, 2009 to June 21, 2010.

Some students, like Ellyn Purpero, a psychology and Spanish sophomore, spend a lot of time in the Young Library on the fifth floor studying.

“There have been times where someone will leave there things in a pretty busy place but no one ever takes anything, but that doesn’t mean it won’t happen,”  Purpero said. “I have also had people ask me to watch their things which obviously must mean they trust me with their belongings.”

With thefts on the rise, Monroe advised students to keep some information about their laptop on hand, like the serial number, or possibly invest in special software to track a lost laptop, such as LoJack.

For more information about the LoJack software or laptop recovery by the UKPD, go to the UKPD Web site (