Over the past few months, Oakland photojournalists have been robbed of countless expensive cameras and pieces of equipment while on the job, as The New York Times reported last week. This robbery trend has added fuel to the fire of whether Oakland residents feel safe carrying valuables on the streets.
Often times, thieves will look for visible items to snatch from people’s hands, like cell phones and purses. Our staff believes that if you cannot conceal your valuables or keep your eyes on them at all times when out in public, they should be left at home to lessen the risk of being stolen. Keeping your belongings hidden and being as inconspicuous as you can be when carrying valuables is the best way to keep your valuables safe in public spaces.
Many students feel that having a car creates a greater danger for having their items stolen. A staggering amount of students who have cars, and park them off campus in Oakland, have had their car windows smashed and experienced their valuables being stolen from inside the car. Putting valuables in your car’s trunk — out of sight of potential thieves who can look through your car’s windows and spot items to steal — is a good way to circumvent this problem.
Some students also feel unsafe on campus, citing the lack of crime prevention and adequate safety measures taken to keep students safe. For example, it’s a fairly simple process to obtain an overnight guest pass, whether or not you’re a student, and Public Safety does not ask to see any ID’s when people enter the campus — they simply wave them through, which has raised quite a bit of concern from students.
Dormitory theft is the biggest form of crime on campus, largely because of the number of doors left unlocked when students leave their rooms for class or elsewhere. It only takes one opportunity for someone to walk into your room and steal a laptop, a phone or something else of value. The best way to protect your belongings when they’re in your room? Lock your doors.
Although the crime rate on and off campus has been high as of late, students can take safety measures to protect themselves and their belongings in public spaces.