Since January, there have been 22 thefts at the University of Connecticut Student Recreation Facility versus the 14 that occurred last semester, UConn Recreation Senior Associate Director Silvia Chan said.
“These numbers include all the thefts reported to us in the entire building and not just the locker rooms,” she said. “We have posted signs about suspicious activities and to alerting the students about locking their valuables."
Students’ valuables have been taken from cubbies, lockers (both locked and unlocked) and strangers that students give their valuables to while playing basketball or other activities, Chan said.
Unfortunately, thefts at recreation centers not only occur at UConn, but are also a common occurrence at other universities across the country, she said.
Despite these thefts, students should not be deterred from leaving their things in lockers, according to UConn Police.
“The Rec Center has adjusted their locking system on the lockers within the locker rooms to prevent the thefts,” UConn Police Deputy Chief Hans Rhynhart said. “This has helped. However, additional thefts have occurred from areas that are not able to be secured such as temporary lockers.”
Other preventative measures that students should take are to not bring valuables to the Rec Center and to report any suspicious activity.
“We suggest that if possible, visitors to the Center avoid leaving valuables unattended and if they see suspicious activity or someone appearing to steal items to notify the police department immediately,” Rhynhart said.
“Students should not leave valuables, including money, in the cubbies,” UConn Recreation Director Cynthia Costanza said. “The cubbies are unsecured storage areas for shoes, boots, and coats. Please understand, no participant has ever reported a stolen pair of boots from the cubbies.”
The UConn Rec Center and police are working together regarding the thefts and other incidents that occur at the Rec Center, Chan said.
“They [UConn Police] have been prompt in responding to the calls of our students, and we have cooperated with all of their investigations,” Chan said.
UConn Police is aware of the thefts that occur at the Rec Center and are currently investigating the matter, Rhynhart said.