Police chief encourages students to file reports after absence

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Emma Collins

Over the winter break, the Georgia Southern University Department of Public Safety issued multiple traffic citations and investigated some minor thefts and two counts of criminal trespass.

“One incident of criminal trespass involved graffiti, and another turned out to just be a prank,” said Michael Russell, Chief of GSU Police.

Though GSU police are precautious over the holidays, Russell said, sometimes things go unnoticed.

“We check, check and double check. We check buildings and residence halls frequently,” he said.

Cell phones seemed to be a popular target for theft in recent months, Chief Russell said, because they are high-dollar, expensive items that can potentially be wiped clean and sold for profit.

“Mainly, these are crimes of opportunity. Always lock your doors and don’t leave stuff lying around,” Russell said.

Chief Russell added that many break-ins or thefts might not have been reported yet because many students are just returning from the holiday break. He encouraged students to file reports if they find anything missing, out of place or tampered with when they return.

“We definitely need to know. Reporting it is the only way for us to know about it,” Russell said.

Erick Garcia, junior computer science major, said students need to be cautious of leaving their belongings lying around.

“Ultimately, it’s the students’ responsibility. If they care about their stuff, they shouldn’t leave it lying around,” Garcia said.

Cache Archer, senior psychology major, makes sure she keeps her valuables locked up and secure and would recommend freshmen to do the same.

“When my friends go to the RAC, a lot of them lock their valuables in the car, and that’s what I’d recommend,” Archer said.

Amanda Ross, senior public relations major, is always aware of her belongings and her surroundings.

“I’m really conscious of my phone. I don’t leave it anywhere, and at night I try not to walk by myself, and if I have to, I try to have someone on the phone talking to me,” Ross said.

Ross also encouraged her fellow students to be careful with their valuables.

“Think about what your parents would say if your phone was stolen,” Ross said.

Chanelle Joseph, a senior psychology and political science double-major, says she keeps her stuff in her purse or pocket to keep it safe.

Joseph said, “Don’t leave stuff lying around unless you want it taken. Be mindful of your possessions at all time.”