Mobile Electronics Theft

Nationally, theft of mobile electronics is on the rise.  These items are increasingly utilized, and are small, quickly removed, and can yield the thief approximately half their original purchase price when sold. Each year, a number of laptops and tablet devices are reported stolen on our campuses. The majority of the items reported stolen were left unattended for only a few minutes.

Thefts of mobile electronic devices can be prevented by taking a few precautions.

  • Keep your devices with you at all times; assume no space is "safe."  This includes on campus while in a library or common space, study carrel, etc.
  • Consider a non-descript bag to carry your device; this may deter a thief from targeting your device.
  • If your device is left in your room, be sure to close AND lock your door at all times.
  • Register your laptop with Campus Police; this service includes free engraving of your laptop so if it is found on campus we can return it to you.
  • Consider purchasing -- and using -- a laptop security lock. These devices are available at a wide variety of retail stores.
  • Do not store your device in an unlocked car. If you must leave it in a car briefly, choose an area such as the trunk where the device cannot be seen, and be sure it is locked. ** Note that extreme cold and heat can affect your device; avoid storing it in a car during these conditions.
  • If your device came with a theft prevention system, be sure to activate and use it. We have had some devices successfully returned to their owners thanks to such systems - not only do some make the device unusable, but they can provide contact information to folks finding them, and some can provide IP addresses if the device is connected to a wireless or wired connection.
  • If your device did not come with a system, consider such a system.
  • Report suspicious behavior to Campus Police, particularly people looking at electronic devices or leaving with them and don't appear to be the owner.
  • Create regular backups of your devices, particularly laptops. Imagine all of the important data you would lose if it was lost, stolen, or crashed.
  • If your laptop contains sensitive or confidential data, be sure to encrypt the laptop.
  • Apple iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, or Mac Apple offers FREE service that will allow you to locate your apple device on a map, remotely lock your device, or erase your data. to learn more, visit the apple website and type the words "Find My Mac, iPad, etc."
What to do if Your Device is Stolen
  • If your device is stolen, notify Campus Police immediately. This increases the chance of the item being recovered. The device can also be entered into a national database.