Thieves snatching laptops from inattentive students at U-M library
The University of Michigan Department of Public Safety has a message for all students, but especially graduate students who use Hatcher Graduate Library: Keep an eye on your laptop and other electronics.
Since just Monday, nine laptops and two tablet devices have been stolen at the graduate library, according to the U-M crime incident summary.
So far this year, 100 laptops have been stolen on campus, said U-M police spokeswoman Diane Brown. That's more than double the number, 43, that had been reported stolen at this time last year
At the beginning of the year, Shapiro Undergraduate Library experienced a high rate of larcenies, but now Hatcher seems to be the mark for would-be thieves, Brown said. She added that U-M police are finding backpacks ditched by the suspects in the bathrooms of adjoining buildings.
The most disturbing aspect of the thefts seems to be the speed at which the laptops are disappearing, Brown said. Whereas in the past, it might have taken 20 to 30 minutes of leaving a laptop unattended for a suspect to snatch it, computers are now disappearing in the time in takes a student to get up and retrieve a piece of paper from the printer and return.
“We’re trying to do a variety of actions at the library,” Brown said, increasing police patrols.
Police urge students to not leave their laptops or other expensive electronics unattended and to report any suspicious behavior to police. Brown also urges students to register their laptops with the department at the U-M police website.