Franklin Hall sees first case of theft

Kevin Gareau

Three laptops, each worth approximately $2,000, were stolen from Franklin Hall over the past seven days.

According to the police report, an instructor noticed the first laptop was missing from an unlocked computer cart in a classroom on Sept. 12. He notified Ellen Losh, an administrative clerk from the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

Losh said she assumed the laptop had been taken by technical support and was being fixed. The same instructor noticed the other two laptops were missing Monday.

Losh said she sent an e-mail to all instructors to see if they had loaned out the laptops, but received no response.

“No one teaching classes in the room knew what was happening, so it was time to call the police,” Losh said.

Jeff Fruit, director of the School of Journalism and Mass Communication, said the laptops were not insured. He added the university is responsible for purchasing insurance.

“The school cannot buy insurance on equipment,” Fruit said. “That’s up to the university.”

According to the police report, the door to the classroom was left unlocked most of the day on weekdays and was locked on weekends. Losh said faculty and staff were the only ones who had access to the room when it was locked. A university locksmith found the only people who entered the room using their keys were a custodian and a computer technician.

Losh said security in the building has been tightened because of the theft.

“The doors to the laptop rooms have been locked down to key swipe access, and the laptops are locked in the carts,” Losh said.

Losh said the remaining laptops have been clearly marked as university property.

“It’s going to be very hard for someone else to take these without someone finding out they belong to JMC,” she said.

Losh added that the doors leading into the stairwell of the building have also been locked. She said anyone wanting to enter the building can enter through the front doors.

Fruit said the school will make sure it tells instructors to lock the laptop carts after class.

“We’re obviously working with police and the computer people to track down the laptops and to make sure this doesn’t happen again,” he said.

Mike Yoho, junior business management and computer information systems major and a computer technician for the school, said he provided the wired MAC address Kent State computer security.

Yoho said the wired MAC address is the signal the network card in a computer sends to whatever network the computer logs into. It could help locate the computers.

The police report said police are trying to contact Apple security to obtain the wireless MAC address.

Contact safety reporter Kevin Gareau at [email protected].