By Scoop W. Gerbil
As computer thefts plague campus, a team of investigators assembles to test the system.
Ryerson security is investigating the theft of a desktop computer that was taken from Eric Palin Hall early last week. Over the past few years, nearly a dozen machines and computer parts have been lifted from the Rogers Communications Centre, W71 and individual faculties and offices. In addition, there are frequent reports of missing furniture, large props, and electronic devices.
Here at The Eyeopener, we wondered how someone lugging a large desktop is able to walk off campus without being stopped. We assembled an investigative team to find out.
Armed only with neon coloured Halloween masks and a thirst for truth, we left the Eye office at 10:45 p.m. Monday night. Besides a few students cramming for mid-terms, the hallways and lounges were mostly deserted. We passed several security guards making their rounds and escorting young rez kids on Walk and Watch routes.
We split into two teams. One group would create a distraction as they paraded around campus bedecked in an oversized papier maché goomba head. The other group headed inside through the Jorgenson Hall entrance, which was still open to the public at 11 p.m.
For more half an hour, we scoured Kerr and Jorgenson for something to temporarily relocate. At least a quarter of the classrooms were open, including a chemistry lab, large auditoriums with fancy free-standing screens and projectors and Kerr Hall North office with three computer monitors. sitting out.
But to really test the system, what we took needed to be large, clunky and difficult to move. We settled for a broken photocopier, which conveniently sat on sticky wheels, in the lower Jorgenson lounge near Starbucks. To make sure no one took us for maintenance workers, we pulled out the masks, and pranced through the halls.
Team distraction had entered the school to cause a ruckus near the library, and later said they could hear the loud clanging of the copier’s wheels as we pushed it towards the Gerrard Street entrance.
A few students, night staff and other community members walked by without a word. “Okay, we’ve got our first security camera coming up at W71,” our lookout reported. Then it was the second. Still nothing. As we climbed the ramp to exit into the Quad in Kerr Hall South, one student casually asked why we were stealing a photocopier. The Gould Street sidewalk was louder than the Jorgenson Hall floors, and we thought for sure that was it. A security officer was walking by Salad King towards Yonge Street by the time we approached the bookstore, but still nothing. We slid the clunky contraption back into place — after a 45-minute photocopier joyride, only one student questioned us.
After investigating a few more unlocked doors, we took a printer and a paper shredder out of an office hallway, sat outside on the curb for a few minutes, then headed back into the school. Our lookouts reported security was coming, so we ditched the masks, and kept walking.
To be fair, it’s possible they recognized us as Eyeopener folk, but neither of the two questioned what we were doing with an industrial sized printer or new paper shredder at 11:45 p.m. on a stairwell far away from our office.
After that, we removed a large construction sign and lecture podium just for fun. But really, it was too easy to be fun anymore.