According to Assistant Chief David Carlisle, students should be aware of the natural spike in crime and make an effort to protect themselves and their belongings.
“The most recent string of crimes that we had were burglaries in residential halls,” Carlisle said. “Burglaries in residential halls, basically the dormitories on campus, were nearly eliminated years ago when one, we closed the campus down between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. and two, housing hired private security to be inside every residential hall on campus.”
Carlisle said private housing security in dorms check student IDs and use fingerprinting to minimize the likelihood of break-ins. But that doesn’t guarantee students’ valuables are completely safe.
“Thieves know that students are leaving for winter break,” Carlisle said. “There are thieves who target campuses. Why? Because they know every student has a laptop, iPad, smartphone.”
Henry Davis, a journalism student and reporter for Annenberg Media, said he finds the increase in thefts on campus concerning and appreciates the university’s efforts to keep students safe.
“The burglaries around the apartments have been pretty concerning,” Davis said. “Obviously, USC tries its hardest to be proactive with informing students about how tightly secured to keep their belongings and making sure everything is in check, but obviously that proactivity can’t prevent these types of break-ins or thefts, so it’s been concerning because you can only do so much.”
Elizabeth Masterson, who lives in freshman housing as a transfer sophomore, said she is somewhat concerned about the string of thefts but still feels safe living on campus.
“I feel kind of uneasy, but also I know, living in freshman housing, there’s a lot of obstacles you have to get through to get into my actual room,” Masterson said. “It’s kind of scary but at the same time it’s not as bad as an apartment where your door can be left unlocked.”
Masterson lives in a suite-style dorm and said she makes sure to lock her bedroom door and the main door to her suite when she leaves her room. Over winter break, she plans to take her valuables with her.
Carlisle said students can decrease their chances of becoming victims of theft by locking their doors, stowing away their belongings or taking them home over winter break. Students should also leave the impression that someone is in the room by keeping lights or the television on.