Is theft a major issue in dorms?

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by wywern209, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. wywern209 macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    What are experiences MR members? i am going to be a freshman in college and TBH, i'm terrified of the nice stuff i bought with my hard earned money getting stolen from dorm room. I love my MBP and would hate for it to get stolen. i'm good about locking doors and stuff if i need to(my neighborhood is pretty crime free) but i am sharing a room with another roommate so i don't know how good he will about this. I'm just a little scared that my nice stuff will get stolen because some heartless *insert expletive here* will steal my stuff just to make quick money.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Your campus police would be a better entity to ask. Theft is/isn't a significant problem depending on what university you are living at.
  3. borisiii macrumors 6502

    Jul 4, 2010
    It shouldn't be too much of an issue depending on where you are, although thieves know that every room will be full of laptops and other expensive items, so if you invite them in with unlocked doors and open windows they will seize the opportunity.

    Don't let it worry you unduly, but you would be reckless not to have an insurance policy to cover you in the event of a theft.
  4. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    It really depends on the school, but it's pretty easy to prevent theft

    1) Lock your stuff down (those kensington security locks are good)
    2) Keep your doors locked
    3) Insurance
    4) Watch who you invite into your room
    5) Make sure your roommate follows at least 1, 2, and 4.

    My stuff never got stolen and I only followed step 4 (I was too lazy to use the lock, and we kept our doors open).

    The only people in my dorms that had stuff stolen made themselves targets by being *******s and flaunting their stuff. For me, theft in dorms happened more out of jealousy and hate towards the victim rather than for the easy stuff and money.
  5. ejb190 macrumors 65816


    We had a bit of theft in the dorm I lived in at Purdue. The interesting thing was the residents figured out who it was and took care of it themselves. No, we didn't lay a finger on the guy, but we didn't have any more problems.

    1. Don't leave your stuff laying around. The library, a study room, a class room, bicycle racks, and especially the laundry room - I'll be right back is long enough to find some things missing.

    2. Text book theft is a big deal. Those books are worth hundreds, there is a ready second hand market, and they are pretty much untraceable. Easy cash. Second on that list is calculators.

    3. Live in a dorm? Check your parents' homeowner insurance. You may be covered. Live in an apartment? Get renter's insurance. PERIOD.

    4. If it can be locked, lock it. Start with your dorm room door.

    5. Bike locks? The heavier, the better. Cable locks aren't worth a dime. I had one cut. If you have an expensive bike, keep it in your room.

    6. Develop friendships in your dorm. When people know you, they look out for you. I remember getting a phone call from a guy just because he hadn't seen me at dinner for a few days. (I had to change my schedule.) Just checking up on me. Today's "modern dorms" with private baths and everyone having a fridge, TV, computer, game system, etc. in the room keeps people out of the common areas and dilutes the "college experience" in my book.
  6. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    I lived in the dorms for two years in college and agree with everything people have said on here. I never used a cable lock for laptop because I had very diligent roommates who never left the door unlocked. Even for a shower. That said they don't hurt. My best advice is just use common sense. The dorms are a hard place to steal from because people know each other so kids that are out of place attract attention. Get to know you floor mates and every body will look out for everybody by default. Common areas are where most stuff gets stolen. Don't leaving it sitting out. The thieves at my school were mainly opportunistic. Just grabbing what was laying around in a cafeteria, library, hallway, etc. I would second checking on insurance too. I also think you'll be covered by your parents. Don't stress about it though. It's not worth worrying about because odds are, it won't happen.
  7. SDub90 macrumors 6502a

    Nov 9, 2009
    Long Island
    This one is very important. It's pretty much how we were able to leave our doors open (so friends can swing by). We watched our neighbors, our neighbors watched us. We pretty much had a 2 room radius of surveillance. We also closed doors when not enough people were around to watch. This did come with consequences. There were a lot of pranks. Messy ones.
  8. stonyc macrumors 65816


    Feb 15, 2005
    If a thief is motivated enough, even a cable lock for your computer won't help you. Case in point, I had a new Gary Fisher mountain bike fresh from a trail ride locked up in the storage room to the bike rack... the thieves took the entire rack. :eek:

    That said, using cable locks and locking your dorm door and windows will make it harder for a thief, so hopefully they'll get frustrated enough and look for an easier target.
  9. OutThere macrumors 603


    Dec 19, 2002
    This is good advice. Particularly the bike thing, you get what you pay for in locks. One of my friends at college brought his $1500 touring bike to school, didn't have a lock for it so he locked it together with a friend's piece o' crap bike that was locked down with a $3.95 wal-mart lock. Went back to find the lock, a brick, and no bikes. Bike theft was rather common at my school, generally not perpetrated by students as they would surely get caught eventually on a campus with 2400 people.

    I think a lot depends on the size of the school, at a small liberal arts college like mine it would be pretty ballsy to steal something and expect not to get caught, but at a major state university I feel the chances of a thief getting away with it—and the increased likelihood of there being a thief present at all among 20,000 people vs 2,000 people—would make theft more common. Theft in general wasn't very common at my college, though we did have a kleptomaniac in my dorm freshman year, however she stole mostly hairbrushes, pencils and toiletries. :p

    Having lived in shared housing for eight years between boarding school and college, the time of the year you need to be the most vigilant is at move-out before long vacations. Everyone is tired from exams, stuff is being moved around and might not be noticed if it goes missing, doors are unlocked as people carry things down to their car, and most importantly, getting away with it is a lot easier when you're leaving campus for the summer.
  10. KOZOK macrumors member

    May 2, 2011
    Theft was a major issue for me in my dorm - my randomly-assigned roommate would help himself to anything I had until I got my own apartment.
  11. sou1 so1di3r macrumors 6502a

    sou1 so1di3r

    Jun 26, 2008
    Denver, CO
  12. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    My daughter is a junior in college. Theft doesn't seem to be much of a problem at her school. However, you should take reasonable precautions. Lock your dorm room on a regular basis, don't leave your stuff unattended in the library, etc.
  13. Ravaroo macrumors 6502


    Aug 26, 2010
    feels like Canada South
    I think more precautions need to be taken these days in regards to protecting your belongings. With all electronics getting so much smaller (and more expensive) it is a lot easier for even the casual thief to make a good haul without much effort.

    Back in my college days (insert grandpa Simpson voice) the TVs were all tube & quite heavy..stereo receivers and amps were big & heavy.. there were not many labtop computers around, etc.

    Nowadays, a thief could grab a smartphone, iPod, iPad, labtop or iMac in a couple seconds flat and be gone before anyone knew it
  14. fireshot91 macrumors 601


    Jul 31, 2008
    Northern VA
    ^^ Is there a reason why you spell laptop as 'labtop'? Not trying to make fun, or insult, but am curious if there's a reason behind it.

    OP, I'd say that it highly depends on what school you're going to. If it's a small school, then theft would be on the lower side. If it's a big public university, then theft would be higher.

    To compensate, just take necessary precautions. It is a 'public' place, per se, so just as you wouldn't leave your laptop lying around in a coffee shop while you went to the bathroom, don't leave it lying around while you go do something 'really quickly'.
  15. wywern209 thread starter macrumors 65832


    Sep 7, 2008
    do you rly want to know?
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_3_5 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/533.17.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.0.2 Mobile/8L1 Safari/6533.18.5)

    I am going to a state university, university of Wisconsin Milwaukee. I guess I should just hope for the best and hope that roommate locks the door diligently.
  16. Darth.Titan macrumors 68030


    Oct 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    Actually those Kensington cable locks are worse than useless. You can open them with a toilet paper tube.

    Not to mention a good yank is usually all it takes to break the lock slot on most laptops. It's a false sense of security.
  17. Surely Guest


    Oct 27, 2007
    Los Angeles, CA
  18. Firestar macrumors 68020


    Sep 30, 2010
    221B Baker Street.
    I used to say "labtop" because that's just how I thought is was pronounced/spelled. I think it would be very possible that the same happened for him/her.

    Everything said is wonderful advice, so follow it.
  19. eternlgladiator macrumors 68000


    Jun 20, 2010
    Twin Cities
    most dorms have doors that automatically lock from the outside now and can't really be left open. that said. don't leave your security up to hope. make sure you guys discuss it on move in day and that you're both on the same page about room security. if he has any shred on common decency this shouldn't be an issue. If it is one you can request a move at semester and switch to another dorm assuming you can find an open spot or somebody else that wants to switch.
  20. iJohnHenry macrumors P6


    Mar 22, 2008
    On tenterhooks
    Get one of these, and use it for a foot-stool/seat with cushion/etc.

    Not so easy to hide under your shirt/coat.
  21. ECUpirate44 macrumors 603


    Mar 22, 2010
    This is my second year in college. Lock your doors religiously and you won't have a problem. I did the same with my locker in h/s and I've never had anything stolen.
  22. sumone macrumors regular

    Mar 23, 2011
    That's really the best advice. But if you have a roomy whose not quite as conscientious you might be screwed. My roomie freshman year would keep the door wide-open and then walk out for goodness only knows how long. I would come back and see my dorm room open and my roommate no where to be found.
  23. Rodimus Prime macrumors G4

    Rodimus Prime

    Oct 9, 2006
    It happens.

    Now ways to keep stuff safe.

    1. Lock your door when you are not there (including when you are on the showers)

    2. Keep valuables out of site in a draw (wallet, cell phone ect)

    3. Know who you invite in your room.

    4. GET TO KNOW THE OTHERS IN YOUR DORM. This one saved my roommates and my ass when we left and both of us forgot to lock the door (hell we left it open) Some people where wondering the hall and started to go into our room and others in the hall protected our stuff.

    For bikes Use the Ulocks. The cable locks are worthless. You can cut threw thoses in about 2-3 mins with a hack saw with little effort. Had to do that with a good friends of mines when his key broke and i knew several people personally who got their bike stolen. High value bikes lock up in your room besides those expensive bikes who wants to get them ruined by storing them outside.
  24. 184550 Guest

    May 8, 2008
    I lived in dorms all four years and never had anything stolen. None of my roommates or friends had anything stolen either.

    As others have said, just be smart about it. Don't leave your door unlocked, don't leave your stuff unattended in the library, etc...
  25. zioxide macrumors 603


    Dec 11, 2006
    this ^

    Never had anything or knew of anyone who had any issues like this in the dorm. One friend had an ipod stolen from his house senior year, but that was during a party with 100+ people in the house. Just avoid situations like that and you will be fine.

    All of the new dorms on my campus have doors that automatically lock.. they are like in hotels, you have to use your card to open them.

Share This Page