Reports of four phones being stolen in the Laidlaw Library have recently surfaced. Victims of the thefts were targeted in the Café Nero area of the library, which opened in June this year.
Some were caught out due to distraction tactics used by the thief. PC Matt Guy, the University’s police-liaison officer, told The Gryphon that, while some victims left their phones unattended, others were “approached by an unknown male who distracted them with a ‘flyer’ held over the table and the phone”. The thief was then thought to have “removed the phone unseen before leaving building”.
While PC Guy commented that “all thefts occurred in the public area of the building”, there were a number of laptop thefts reported in the inner part of the Edward Boyle library last year after students left them unattended.
While poor CCTV was partially blamed, a university spokesperson noted “some 60,000 users are registered with the University libraries – including students from other institutions, some NHS employees and fee-paying members of the public – so, to all intents and purposes, the library is a public space.
Thefts can and do occur within the University’s libraries and elsewhere on campus, and we would urge all students to take care of their belongings and not leave them unattended when using the library facilities”.
PC Guy has also advised students that “the University is not a student only area, members of the public are allowed in most of the campus.
Thieves will try to blend in and steal from libraries, cafes and other areas they can access”. “If someone is acting suspiciously then either challenge them or go and report them.
Never just walk away, as you are possibly leaving a thief safe to steal from a fellow student”.
Image courtesy of Erica Sykes