Lockers booby-trapped

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By Brad Whitehouse
Associate News Editor

Thieves trying to loot campus lockers might be alarmed when they break in.

There’s no way to tell from the outside, but Ryerson Security has randomly installed alarms in empty lockers throughout Kerr Hall, the Rogers Communications Centre and the Victoria and Podium buildings.

“We’re hoping that if anyone hears the alarm go off that they give us a call and keep their eyes open,” said Imre Juurlinke, Ryerson Security supervisor.

A locker alarm went off for the first time this year on Monday. A faculty member called security, but by the time they arrived the culprit was nowhere in sight. The alarms were first installed in 2006 in response to the number of locker thefts on campus.

That year, one locker thief set off the alarms. Ryerson security chased a suspect down the halls, but failed to nab him.

“We never did end up catching him, but we did scare him away,” said Juurlinke. The alarms weren’t used again until the end of last year, after a rash of robberies. They were taken out over the summer and put into random lockers once again a couple weeks ago. But there have been nearly forty locker thefts this semester, and no one caught.

“This program isn’t so much designed to catch a person directly, it’s just one of the methods we’re using,” Juurlinke said. “It’s mostly designed to draw a lot of attention to the person and hopefully get a description from people because when you hear an alarm that loud everybody’s going to turn and look.”

Juurlinke said security uses this description when looking at video surveillance to place the suspect at the scene of the crime. If they find a match, they look through other footage to see if the same person has been involved in a string of robberies.

Ryerson Security said more than forty alarms were installed across campus. The alarms were bought previously used for about $500.

“A lot of these have been happening weekdays, midday so there’s got to be people around,” she said. “Having fifty people turn and look at you is not something people want to experience more than once.”

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