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Thefts from ACS leave students alarmed, wary

Three laptops were stolen from the office of the Association of Commuter Students (ACS) on the second floor of the University Center (UC) on Tuesday.

Few details about the theft are available because it is under investigation, but the University of Miami Police Department (UMPD) is inspecting video footage to catch the thief. UMPD was not available to comment before the time of publication. However, Margot Winick, the assistant vice president for UM’s media relations, said that the thief may have been an outside intruder on campus.

“It’s a terrible act that someone committed against not just our organization, but to the university as a whole,” said senior Liliana Oyarzun, the president of ACS.

One of the laptops stolen belonged to sophomore Bryanna Nuñez.

“My life is on it,” Nuñez said. “I have exam notes, I have papers on there, my job information, personal information, everything.”

Nuñez kept her laptop in the cubbies of the office, where the other two were also stored. The ACS office serves as a home away from home for many commuter students and its doors are often left open.

“I’ve left it there since my freshman year and never had a problem,” Nuñez said. “It’s a false sense of security that you get lulled into.”

Nuñez thought she wouldn’t have a problem keeping her laptop safe in the ACS office since students are always in the International Lounge on the second floor of the UC.

Freshman William Herrera is disappointed that someone would steal personal property from the ACS office.

“It bothers us that someone would go out of his or her way to hurt us,” Herrera said. “I want to still feel safe because ACS is a home away from home.”

On-campus laptop theft has been a constant problem. Last year’s ACS president, UM alumna Jennifer Del Toro, had her laptop stolen from the Department of Orientation’s office on the second floor of the UC last year.

Senior Claudia Cruz, the president of La Federacion of Estudiantes Cubanos (FEC), said that she remembers a laptop being stolen from FEC’s office in the I-Lounge her freshman year. In addition, signs are currently posted in the Richter Library warning students of recent laptop thefts.

Oyarzun said that this is the first time “something of this magnitude” has occurred in the ACS office during her four years at UM. ACS’s executive board is currently brainstorming protective and preventive measures to keep their office safe, Oyarzun said.

November 17, 2011

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Lyssa Goldberg

Lyssa Goldberg is online editor of The Miami Hurricane. She is a senior majoring in journalism and political science with a minor in math. She has interned at Mashable and the Miami New Times, and her work has also been featured in The Huffington Post.


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