Leonard Center thefts on rise

By Caitlin Opperman

A recent rise in thefts at the Leonard Center has sparked administrators to implement additional security measures throughout the building. Both bolt-cutting and thefts of unlocked, unattended belongings have become issues in recent months.”Many of these incidents have been centered in the locker rooms, specifically the men’s locker room,” Athletic Director Kim Chandler said.

Macalester is not alone. The thieves appear to be at work throughout the metro area. St. Thomas and Hamline University have experienced similar problems with several recorded incidents of lock-cutting.

Leonard Center administrators have consequently increased efforts to secure the building.

“We have been actively responding,” Chandler said. “We have security cameras, staff have been patrolling the center more than usual, and we’ve added a student worker in front of the locker rooms.”

Staff and student workers have also begun picking up bags, laptops, iPods, and other valuable items left unattended and moving them to an office. Leonard Center users can come to the front desk to reclaim their belongings. Chandler and her fellow administrators hope to make a point as well keep property safe.

While thefts have been a minor concern since the facility opened in 2008, there has been a noticeable rise in theft this year.

“We seem to have more situations of people not securing items leaving us more vulnerable,” Chandler said. “We are reminding students that they need to be mindful of their belongings.”

Chandler stressed the importance of ongoing watchfulness.

“We have to be diligent,” Chandler said.