Dorm thefts are a growing complaint

It was like any day for Edwards Burnham. After a long day of studying, exercising, and working for the school, Burnham looked forward to relaxing in his room.

“Like any other day I walked back to my room, it was empty like usual because my roommate and I have different schedules, I went inside and grabbed my stuff to get ready for a shower,” said Burnham, 21, a junior criminal justice major from Boston, Mass.

Burnham never once thought that he would have to watch out for his personal items when going out for a quick shower.

“I showered for maybe 15 minutes, came back to my room and I noticed that some stuff went missing,” Burnham said. “I had a video game, a controller, and a book stolen – it was a bit odd, but they were gone.”

Theft on the Norwich University campus has become a bigger a issue this year than in years prior, according to students whose stuff has been taken or have friends who have seen items taken. Interviews reveal the problem of theft in the dorms is a major concern.

“People’s belongings have been disappearing, or rather been stolen, from as small as their clothes to people’s games and books,” Burnham said. “As far as I know it’s been going on for a few months, but it wasn’t that bad – maybe one person here or there but now lots of people had stuff taken,” Burnham said.

“My floor had some issues with people taking stuff. My roommate had something taken and I know some guys down the hall who were hit as well,” said Kyle Cody, 20, a sophomore architecture major from Passaic, N.J.

I only heard about it a few weeks ago,” Cody said, “when it happened to me is when I asked about it but apparently it’s been going on for a while.”

With all the items being taken, “I thought it was just a rumor or people being irresponsible until it happened to me,” said Andrew Stephon, 19, a freshman criminal justice major from Springfield, Mass.

Susan Klascko, 22, a senior business major from Manhattan, N.Y., stated that she also had some items taken from her room when she was not in it. She explained that it was only for a short amount of time she was out of her room, so the theft came as a surprise.

“I normally lock my door but the one time I didn’t my stuff was taken,” said Jason DeRosa, 19, a freshman mechanical engineer from San Antonio Texas, “I went to class and lunch, came back and my stuff was gone, I thought I misplaced it so I looked for it, gave it some time to come up, but that wasn’t the case.”

With cases of theft now being noted as far back a November, Stephon said, “It’s been a thing for a while now, but it seems like no one is doing anything.”

Klascko explained that she saw people make a few posts here and there on the social pages on Facebook such as “Overheard.” The most recent one about a device being stolen which is a uniform item caused a lot of people to make comments towards each other and to the unknown thieves.

“I saw it talked about on Facebook with people, but I never thought too much about it,” DeRosa said, “when I asked friends about it apparently it’s gone for a while, even last year at the end of the year it was bad but recently lots of items have gone missing.”

The items stolen vary.

“I’ve had a book for my class and a video game for my game system stolen from my room, the video game and book aren’t the most valuable things in my room, but they were taken,” Burnham said.

“I had a flag taken from my room of all things, like I have way more valuable things in my room yet that was it,” Cody said. “It’s a bit odd but that was the only thing taken, it was an American flag, not my games, not my clothes, shoes or even souvenirs that I have on my shelves.”

The items disappearing are mostly small objects or things that can be taken easily. “For example, controller were taken from my room, I was gone for the small amount of time and it just disappeared. Neither my roommate or I know what is going on,” Stephon said.

It’s not just items in their rooms but even uniform pieces being stolen. “I’ve known someone’s cover who has been taken, which is an item that you wear with the uniform,” according to Klascko, who added an extra pair of uniform boots was stolen from her room.

“I got my book stolen for a class and it’s pretty annoying because the books for classes are pretty expensive,” DeRosa said. “On top of that, my roommate had some stuff from his drawers taken, which is just weird.”

Students have different theories on who is doing the thefts. “I don’t think it’s an individual but rather its multiple people, because I feel like if it was one person they would have been caught by now,” Burnham said.

“It’s probably random people,” Cody said. “I would like to think it’s not organized because that would be really messed up, and that it’s just random people who just lack respect and morals.”

With the thieving going around and how many people live in these buildings, “It’s hard to tell who it can be, for all we know it could even be our roommates,” Stephon said.

“I don’t care who it is really.” DeRosa said, “I just want my stuff back and for people to stop stealing things. We came to a military institute and with this being an issue, is pretty bad.”

“As far as I know nothing is being done about it, I’m not sure what can be done considering that we don’t have cameras in barracks to watch the hallways, as that would just be a lot of footage,” Burnham said.

“I have heard of people taking matters into their own hands and don’t really know what that means,” Cody said. “It’s kind of our faults for not locking our doors, but sometimes you forget so it’s really annoying that it happens.”

At least one student said they weren’t sure whether the school would get involved with the thefts. “I would be surprised if anything were to come of this, to be honest, I feel like no one will do anything,” Stephon said.

Klascko explained that students are told to lock their doors anytime they leave and if something is stolen, they are at fault. But there is frustration that the culprits may never be caught.

“Honestly I don’t expect anything to be returned or found,” DeRosa said, “nothing will be taken into action because people left doors unlocked, I just hope that the thief will eventually stop and this could be a lesson that we need to always lock our doors, because no matter where we go, there will be people with no morals.”

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