Break and enter bonanza
Multiple break and enters have been reported to University of Alberta Protective Services (UAPS) and Edmonton Police Service (EPS) throughout December and January.
UAPS Acting Inspector noted the large amount of recent property crimes and break-ins, and reminded students and staff to play their part in preventing crimes of opportunity.
“When people think of break and enter, they think of someone busting down a door or coming through a ceiling tile or manipulating a lock — usually that’s not the way it goes,” he said. “Usually it’s someone leaving their door open and someone walking by and committing a crime.”
“Try and reduce or remove that opportunity of crime,” he said. “Lock offices instead of leaving them unattended, closing doors so they’re not ajar.
UAPS was notified of a break and enter in a Clinical Sciences Building office by a student on Jan. 18. Multiple offices in CSB appeared to be entered and a number of circumstances led UAPS officers to believe that property was missing or damaged. EPS was called in, who collected forensic evidence left behind or disturbed by whoever was responsible.
A Second Cup employee reported a break, enter and theft from their Business Atrium kiosk location on Jan. 19. UAPS responded to the report, who were told that someone had broken in over the weekend and stolen a debit/credit terminal. EPS were once again called in, and obtained forensic evidence from the scene. Staff were advised that additional security measures are required for the kiosk, which has been broke into before.
Laptops are an easy target for break-and-enter perpetrators, as three U of A owned laptops were stolen from a Edmonton Clinic Health Academy office on Jan. 19. None of the laptops contained sensitive material, and all were stored in an unlocked room. Nearby cameras in the area were reviewed, but revealed no suspicious criminal activity over the weekend.
A student reported theft of cash from their club office in the CCIS building on Jan. 22. $260 was discovered missing, but there were no signs of forced entry. Many people have approved access to the office, and there are no suspects or leads at this time.
Another break and enter was reported to UAPS from the Timms Centre for the Arts on Jan. 25. Upon arrival, UAPS were put in touch with an EPS officer who informed them that a male suspect had been charged with stealing a laptop from the Timms Centre. The male was also in possession of $5,000 worth of stolen property. The accused male is previously known to UAPS, as he was charged with trespassing in July, 2014. The recovered laptop was returned to the Timms Centre.
On Jan. 26, a break and enter was reported in the Van Vliet Complex. Speakers, shoes, a bag and a laptop were stolen from an office. EPS were called and seized items from the office for fingerprinting. There are no surveillance video or suspects at this time.
Roth advises all students to report all suspicious activity to UAPS and EPS, no matter how minimal it may seem.
“Continue to report suspicious activity to us any time 24 hours a day, even if you feel like it may not be anything,” Roth said. That’s just human nature … use that instinct and call us so we can go in and assess the situation. That’s never an issue.”
Suicide note found in FAB
A suicide note was found in the Fine Arts Building hallway by a U of A staff member. UAPS responded immediately and notified EPS.
EPS initially received an “unclear” 911 call, which was hung up. EPS then notified UAPS of the call and asked them to investigate while they were on the way.
UAPS tracked the reporter down, who confirmed that he discovered a suicide note on the floor by his office.
There was a name on the note, who was not affiliated with the U of A, nor known to UAPS.
The female in question was located on the main floor, but did not appear in distress.
She claimed that the note “fell out of her pocket” and that it wasn’t her intention to harm herself as EPS arrived and conducted a mental health assessment. EPS then determined that the woman did need help, and was taken to the U of A hospital for assessment by a professional.
The female declined voluntarily, but EPS transported her to the hospital.
Roth said “you never know,” and that it’s important to act quickly.
“We deal with mental health issues quite often,” Roth said. “This was one a little bit different.”
Most solicitors are OK with students walking by and declining their services. But concerns are raised once they offer to escort them to the nearest ATM when students claim they have no cash.
A HUB staff member reported a male soliciting for “Children’s Joy Foundation” on Jan. 21 after numerous complaints by students and staff in HUB.
The “charity” has previously been determined as illegitimate, as the organization has never sought proper authority to solicit on U of A property.
The male, who was not affiliated with the U of A, was thus deemed trespassing and subsequently directed off campus.
Roth advised students to report suspicious, aggressive soliciting to UAPS in the future and not to give any personal information.