On Monday night, April 2, an unidentified individual broke into a locked office in the French department on the fourth floor of Neill Hall and stole lab instructor Aminata Sall’s laptop.
“Just to let you all know, Aminata’s laptop was taken sometime during the night,” department coordinator Theresa Klauer wrote in an email to all French department employees. “She left it in her office and when she came back this morning it was gone. When they left last night they locked the door and when Aminata arrived here this morning the door was still locked.”
Klauer noted that in addition to campus security, Information Technology Services (ITS) had been notified that a laptop had been stolen.
This is the latest in a series of break-ins at Macalester. Over spring break, hundreds of dollars of private property – including a camera, lens and another laptop – was stolen in a similar string of unsolved burglaries in the geology department located in the basement of Olin-Rice Hall.
The break-ins have followed the loss of one of the campus master keys, which have full access to all non-residential buildings. There is not yet definitive evidence as to whether or not the key was used in these burglaries.
Associate Director of Security Bill Collumbien wrote in an email to The Mac Weekly that campus security reports all crimes involving campus property to the St. Paul Police Department, and has turned all evidence in the geology burglaries over to the police department.
On Friday March 23, in an effort to tighten security and prevent further thefts, Vice President of Administration and Finance David Wheaton announced that academic buildings would be locked after 6 p.m. Access after that time is now limited to those carrying a key card.
“We have increased our frequency of patrol throughout campus and are working to secure buildings earlier during time when the buildings are less heavily used,” Collumbien wrote.
Despite increased security, the break-ins have continued. There have been at least 16 thefts in 2018; by this time last year, there had only been 12. “Campus community members should make sure they secure their belongings and do not leave belongings unattended,” Collumbien wrote. “It is important to call security or the St. Paul Police Department to report suspicious activity.”