University Bookstore responds to rising theft

Tyrel Linkhorn

The university bookstore is now requesting patrons to drop off their bags upon entering the store to reduce theft. JESSICA WOJCIK | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Steve Schirra

The University Bookstore has brought back two old features with the hopes of reducing a new increase in theft.

Since Oct. 9, people entering the bookstore have been directed by signs to place book bags in the 24 cubby bag drop-off located on the left of the entrance way.

Security cameras around the store were also installed last week.

Bookstore Director Michael Marquardt said the Kent State bookstore had both security measures until 1999 when Follett took over the store. At that time, both were removed.

Marquardt said most colleges and universities have a bag drop, and that Kent State’s bookstore is the last East Coast Follett store to put one in.

The bookstore made the decision to bring back the bag drop “primarily to try to cut down on pilferage,” he said.

Marquardt said that theft has been becoming more common recently.

“It was definitely on the increase,” he said.

Textbooks, CDs and computer items are the top three most stolen items, he said. Shoplifting has no effect on the prices of items in the store, he said.

After just one week, Marquardt said it’s too soon to tell if the new policy has helped in reducing theft.

Erin Wurster, senior early childhood education major, said she couldn’t see many people stealing from the bookstore and that leaving her bag unattended at the front of the store made her a little nervous.

“I took the important things out before I left it,” she said.

Marquardt said as far as he’s aware, the student reaction has been mostly positive.

“There hasn’t been as much grumbling as I thought there would be,” he said.

If nothing else, the drop may offer students some relief.

“I just dropped my stuff because I was tired of carrying it,” Wurster said.

Contact student finance reporter Tyrel Linkhorn at [email protected].