At least four laptops have been stolen from bags left momentarily unattended in Bartlett Dining Commons over the past four weeks. It is unknown whether the acts have been committed by one individual or several, and whether the events are related.
The thefts occurred on October 24, October 31, November 2, and November 9, according to University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) incident reports.
When reached for comment, a fourth-year victim reported that he had not removed his laptop from his bag while eating alone at Bartlett. It was stored within a sleeve in his backpack. Though the laptop was not visible in the dining hall, he checked his bag after getting up to get food a few times to find that his MacBook was gone.
Another second-year victim reported that he had been working on his laptop alone at a house table before stowing it in his backpack and leaving for a few minutes to get food. When he returned, the laptop was gone, and no one near the table had witnessed anything out of the ordinary.
Using the tracking capabilities built into the MacBook via iCloud, the victim was able to trace the location of his laptop immediately after the crime. It was last located around Campus North Residential Commons before going offline.
UCPD officers were spotted in Bartlett Dining Commons last week questioning students about the recent thefts.
The UCPD and Bartlett Dining Commons both told The Maroon that they were unable to comment on the incidents, as the investigation is ongoing.
To prevent any future thefts, the UCPD recommends that students register their laptops through the UCPD’s Community Relations Unit, available at (773) 702–6008. When registered, laptops are installed with barcodes, allowing the UCPD to track them if lost.
The UCPD also advises students not to leave any valuables unattended and to stay aware of their surroundings at all times, especially in crowded places. Moreover, if anyone ever loses a laptop, they should immediately inform the UCPD.