Thefts raise campus security concerns

No matter how much people believe Baldwin City is a small town with minimal crime, two Baker University students are finding out the price of campus safety.

Seniors Lesley Gillaspie and Christy Taylor both had items stolen from Gillaspie’s unlocked apartment early Sunday morning. After spending the night in Lawrence Saturday, Gillaspie said she returned to her apartment around 9:45 a.m. Sunday and noticed the missing items.

“Everything that was stolen was in the living room,” she said. “We don’t think they went into the bedrooms.”

Items stolen include Gillaspie’s Apple iPod and Sony Cyber-shot digital camera, a combined value of $600, and Taylor’s Apple MacBook, which she paid $2,000 for.

Gillaspie first realized the MacBook was missing when she noticed she was missing a speaker cord that was hooked to it. She assumed Taylor took the cord when she picked up her laptop, but when she asked her about it, Taylor said she hadn’t picked up her laptop yet. As the morning progressed, the two noticed the other missing items.

“My iPod was in a pouch in my book bag with the headphones draped over the edge, but the camera was buried at the bottom,” Gillaspie said. “They could have just taken the whole bag.”

Gillaspie’s roommates, Ramia Welsh and Margaret Kisner, were in the apartment during the incident.

“Margaret and I were up talking until about 1 a.m., and then she decided to go to bed,” Welsh said. “I couldn’t sleep, so I was awake in my room. I heard someone come in the apartment around 3 a.m., but I didn’t think anything of it. I just thought it was Lesley coming home. I finally fell asleep around 3:30 a.m.”

Taylor said Baldwin City Police Department officer Matt Douglas came to the apartment Sunday to question residents.

“He was really nice about the whole situation,” she said. “There’s not really a lot they can do now.”

Police Sgt. Gregg Schiffelbein said evidence is very minimal at this point.

“Right now we have no leads,” he said. “The residents have no idea who could have came into their apartment. We’re collecting the serial numbers from the victims, and then we’ll just have to see if anything turns up.”

Schiffelbein said neighbors were interviewed, but no one reported seeing or hearing anything suspicious.

“It’s one of those things that with no witnesses, it’s really tough to start,” he said.

Gillaspie said the circumstances seem strange to her and Taylor.

“The speakers in the living room are pretty nice, but they left them,” she said. “They unhooked the speakers from the computer and unhooked the headphones from my iPod. They also didn’t touch a substantial amount of cash that I had in my book bag.”

The women also notified campus security. Supervisor of Security Maggie Wilson said locking doors is an easy step to increase security.

“I encourage people to keep their doors locked,” she said. “Unfortunately, sometimes people like to go into unlocked doors.”

The weekend’s theft hasn’t been the only incident on campus this year.

Gessner Hall Director Kyle Paul said a table and a few chairs are missing from Gessner’s basement.

“They’re nowhere in the building,” he said. “We did room checks just to double-check. We’re looking into some leads.”

Paul said he’s working with hall directors and the student development office on following leads, but fines on the whole residence hall could happen if the case isn’t solved.

“There’s a community fine in motion, but it hasn’t been passed,” he said. “No one has been fined yet, but they will be if we don’t figure it out soon.”