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By Jesse McLean

News Editor

The Hub cafeteria’s security system is undergoing a major overhaul after thieves walked away with more than $4,000 over the holidays.

The culprits broke into the cafeteria’s cash office at the back kitchen on Dec. 30. Once in the room, they opened the vault that held all of the deposits and floats for every food-service cash register on campus.

“We’ve already enhanced some measures at this point, but we’ll be enhancing it even more,” said John Corallo, director of ancillary services, which runs the Hub.

Some sources said the thieves cooked a meal using the cafeteria’s food after cleaning out the safe. But Corallo said the reports are just rumours.

“The only thing they did was steal the money. That was it,” he said. The school has already installed additional cameras in the office as well as a stronger safe.

As well, Corallo said several locks throughout the Hub would be replaced as soon as possible. The office had one camera at the time of the break and entry, and security is reviewing the tape.

The police are involved, but no arrests have been made. Neither Corallo nor security manager Lawrence Robinson would say whether it was an inside job.

The thieves broke into the office by removing metal bars across a window, then smashed the glass with either a fire extinguisher or the fire-blanket canister.

Had they tried to get in through the doorway, it would have triggered an alarm. Security discovered the theft later that night on a routine patrol, where they noticed the back door that leads to shipping and receiving was ajar.

“It’s obvious that that’s the way they left. The uncertain part right now is that we’re not sure how they got in,” Corallo said.

The cafeteria doesn’t usually hold that much cash, but it had to store all the school’s floats while food services were closed for the holiday.

Break and entries aren’t common, but the Hub has been burglarized before. On Sept. 20, 2003, patrolling security officers heard sounds in the Hub and arrested a person for breaking and entering.

Corallo said the culprit stole about $300. However, Robinson said the nature of cash transactions leaves the cafeteria vulnerable.

“Any place that does cash handling, especially in such high volumes, has a heightened risk factor,” he said.

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