Thefts of personal belongings on the rise at University of Michigan
Thefts of personal belongings, such as laptops and cellphones, are on the rise at the University of Michigan.
The U-M Department of Public Safety alerted students on Tuesday to "secure their valuables at all times" because larcenies are on the rise by 32 percent, up from 144 incidents between January 1 and March 31 last year to 190 incidents during the same time period this year.
"It's significant," DPS spokesperson Diane Brown said of the uptick. "We're having a lot of crime happening, which tends to also attract a lot of other types of additional crime."
Of those 190 larcenies, 38 laptops and 27 cell phones were reported stolen. According to Brown, most reported incidents involved items left unattended, such as "purses left wide open underneath somebody's desk."
"The thing about larcenies is that they can be mostly prevented, unlike other types of crimes that are mostly difficult to prevent," Brown continued.
Police warn students to never leave their belongings unattended "even for a couple of minutes" because "it takes less than a minute for a thief to take your belongings."
Police ask anyone who sees suspicious activity to call 911 or text 377911.