THIEVES TARGET GCM LABS

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By Erica Rodd

Locked doors, access cards and restricted hours are what greet you at the labs in the Heidelberg Centre. Mice and keyboards are bolted down with electric cable wire. Yet, somehow, equipment is still going missing.

“Last year, we lost 50 mice,” says Khaled Ahmed, a technologist at the Heidelberg Centre. “This year so far, we’ve lost four mice and one keyboard.” Mary Black, Chair of the school of Graphics and Communication Management, says that only 30 mice were stolen last year, and three mice and one keyboard this year.

Whatever the numbers, the on-going problem of thefts from the GCM lab is what pushed Ahmed to wire down the equipment. But that hasn’t deterred the thieves.

“Whoever’s doing this, they’re pros,” says Randy Guevara, a first-year GCM student. “The wire’s pretty thick, they have to cut it to get at the [equipment].”

Guevara says the thefts are affecting everybody because it could cut down on lab hours. “I’m not responsible, but I feel like a suspect,” he says. Black says that there’s nothing she can do about the situation. “Normally what I would do is cut back on lab hours, but because of exams I didn’t want to do that.”

Of the three GCM labs, the third- and fourth-year’s lab has been the worst-hit. “I am thinking of putting a security camera in,” says Ahmed. “That way they will know that they are being watched.”

But he feels security isn’t doing all that it should. “I feel that security is acting very slowly. There was a door broken overnight, and I had to call security. They were very slow,” Ahmed said.

Even so, Ahmed doesn’t blame security, and adds that they’re working together to fix the problem. But that’s assuming security has been keeping tabs on the lootings. When TheEyeopener called Ryerson’s manager of security Lawrence Robinson, he said he had no records of thefts reported in the Heidelberg Centre this year.

That’s because Black hadn’t reported the thefts.

“What could security have done that we couldn’t have done ourselves?” Black asks. “Security have much more important things to worry … other than three little mice, at least I think so.”

Robinson said his team will now investigate the thefts. Ahmed still suggests that patrols do more room-checks and surveillance. “After 6, if they could come every half hour, this will be helpful,” he says. In the meantime, Ahmed says he replaces the stolen items quickly so students won’t have to scramble to finish papers, especially during exams.

Meanwhile, nobody is willing to speculate on who the thieves are. Guevara, however, says that it would be pretty hard to sneak in without an access card.

“I don’t think anyone’s sneaked in behind me. You do let your friends in once in a while, if they’ve forgotten their key, but if you’re not in the program, it’s hard to get in.”

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