Theft triggers student giving
By Terryn Kelly
An unknown thief recently struck campus. Near the end of last semester, the person stole a laptop, an iPod, a calculator, a thumb drive and highlighters from a back pack that was left alone in the Wells building.
Senior cell biology major Stephanie Grant was the victim. She has endured a lot throughout her life, and the theft of her personal belongings was another incident added to the list.
She had car repair bills at the time and said, “I didn’t have the money to replace that laptop. … I have to pay my way through college myself … so all the loans are in my name. I work two jobs, and when my things got stolen it was just a horrible feeling.”
Grant said her mother and brother had purchased the laptop, and she was borrowing it until she could afford to get her own. She thought it would be all right to set her things down and step away since the building always seemed to be secure.
“I never thought I would have my computer stolen from me on campus. The day that it was stolen, I had just gotten out of lab, and I put my stuff aside for about 10 minutes to go speak with a teacher. When I came back, my stuff was gone, and there was no one in the hallway either,” she said.
After hearing that her close friend had her belongings stolen, senior criminal justice and cell biology major Laura Catalina, knew she had to do something to help.
While she was giving some students a recap of events about Grant, hearts were moved.
“In my A&P class I was discussing what happened. One of my classmates offered to buy the thumb drive and the other just donated money. The next time I showed up to class, a classmate said that she had felt moved by God when she was driving past the store, and she turned around and bought Stephanie a new laptop and a computer case. The IT department was kind enough to donate highlighters as well,” Catalina said.
Senior organismal biology major Jamay Michael was in disbelief when she learned the news about Grant because she often sets her belongings aside in the same hallway.
“When I came upstairs and I found out that Stephanie’s items had been stolen, I was very stunned that it happened. We do leave our stuff out here; we leave our purses and wallets out here because it’s a pretty trustworthy building. We all know each other, and when I found out that happened, I just literally dug out all my change and cash I had and donated it all,” she said.
Grant was thankful for the outpouring of love.
She said, “I was crying on and off all day. I have never met so many nice people before here on campus. I always feel like I am getting the bad end of the stick. I have really good friends, and everybody is really nice to me, but sometimes I just feel like my hard work rarely pays off.”
The anonymous replacement of her computer showed Grant that good things do still happen.
She said, “A random stranger that doesn’t even know me gave me a brand new laptop. This just really made me happy, and it made me feel like there aren’t just all these bad people in the world.”
Chief of Police Gary Sargent said that most of the theft that occurs on campus is crime of opportunity in which victims fail to properly secure their belongings.
He warns students not to leave property unattended, but to lock it in their room or car and not leave it visible to those passing by.
“Those are really the basic things,” Sargent said. “It’s really simple to prevent crime.”