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Eyeopener editors remove $3,200 worth of electronics from RCC classrooms

By Annie Arnone

Stricter security measures have been implemented at the Rogers Communications Centre (RCC) in response to a high number of recent thefts.

Most notably, a 70-inch TV was stolen from a first floor lab on Jan. 21  — one of 9 thefts reported in the building this year alone.

Dan Greenwood, manager of operations and technology services at the RCC, says a new alarm system has been added to the building in order to assure that doors are always kept closed.

“Students a lot of the time will leave a door propped open if they run to the bathroom or leave the class for a second. Now an alarm will sound if doors are propped open,” he said.

But The Eyeopener found increased security measures to be ineffective. On Monday night around 9 p.m., The Eyeopener went to the RCC to investigate how difficult it is to steal from the building. Without card access, editors removed approximately $3,200 worth of electronics from unlocked labs and classrooms — 3D printers, desktop monitors, DVD players and Apple computer accessories were all accessible.

An Eyeopener editor walked by security with a 42-inch television, used in the cover shoot, and was not stopped or questioned.

Both journalism and RTA School of Media students still have 24-hour card access to the building, but the RCC remains open to the public until 10:30 p.m. Classrooms are supposed to be locked after 4:30 p.m., according to signs posted throughout the building.

“We’ve had a concentration [of security] in terms of frequenting the building itself. Based on resources we couldn’t just put someone in there, but we do have a concentrated effort … along with the security measures that are in the building,” said Tanya Poppleton, manager of security and emergency services at Ryerson. She added security cameras and restricted card access are intended to make the RCC secure.

Journalism departmental assistant Jaclyn Mika has noticed the theft issues. When the 70-inch TV went missing, she was the first to notice. Mika called Lesley Salvadori, News Media Technical coordinator at the RCC, to confirm no one removed the TV to be repaired and that it was indeed stolen.

“Security came over in 10 minutes, said they would review cameras and asked if any classes had been in here to determine if it had been overnight or not,” she said.

No confirmation has been made as to what time the theft took place, or who committed it. Poppleton said numbers on total value are not available.

“To be able to give you in an accurate context of what the total amounts [of stolen items] are, I couldn’t do that. We don’t have that,” said Poppleton.

“We’re very concerned. It came as a shock to me,” said Aseel Kafil, organizational developer and an educator at the RCC.

Kafil explained security will be following up with RCC staff.

According to Preston Patey,  client support technician at the Equipment Distributions Centre, the west RCC door has only recently begun to be locked at night.

“It’s worrisome, there are a lot of people walking around this room in particular,” he said.

In response to the thefts, Ryerson interim president Mohamed Lachemi said it is his priority to create a safe environment for students.

“Security is in the process of investigating a few of these cases,” Lachemi said. “We don’t have proof that this building is experiencing more problems from the rest of the campus, but we have been paying attention to any isolated acts and we will investigate and take the appropriate actions.”

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