theft & operation engrave

Campus theft is theft of personal property on campus or the stealing of property which belongs to the College. Theft is the most common crime on American college campuses.

All campus community members are potential victims, and we each have a responsibility to protect ourselves. By looking out for ourselves and each other, we can help eliminate campus theft.

Being aware of your surroundings is an important part of crime prevention, especially in areas where thieves are most likely to strike such as:

  • academic buildings (Colgate Hall, Reichhold Science Center, etc.)

  • residence halls, which are locations where most students keep their possessions

  • Hogan Sports Center, which is where people sometimes leave possessions in locker rooms and unsecured lockers

  • Susan Colgate Cleveland Library/Learning Center

  • parking lots where vehicles may be unlocked and valuables left in the open.

Once in these "hot spots," thieves are on the prowl for YOUR valuables, and they look for:

  • cash which is sometimes left unsecured

  • bikes which, either whole or in parts, can be quickly removed from campus and sold

  • books which may be turned into the bookstore as "used" and converted into fast cash

  • stereos, CD's and tapes which may be sold for cash or simply appropriated by theif.

Remember, it's not just your personal valuables which are at risk, as College property is a target as well. Audio-visual equipment, computer components, residence hall furniture, and lab equipment are all favorites of campus thieves.


Keep doors and windows locked, even if you are inside the room sleeping or plan to be absent for only a short time. This will help protect both you and your possessions.

  • Keep small, valuable items like cash, checks, credit cards, and jewelry locked in a safe place. Some students use footlockers or trunks which can be locked.

  • Immediately report broken doors, windows, locks, and lights to your Resident Assistant (RA) or your Resident Director (RD). Faculty and staff members should report these items to the Facilities Department at extension 3699.

  • Do not lend your key(s) or give your lock combination(s) to anyone, even friends.

  • Do not prop doors open. This means external doors as well as the door to your own room. Propping doors open allows access to anyone for any reason.

  • If you're the last person leaving a first floor, common area (bathroom, lounge, etc.), please close and lock the windows. This prevents unauthorized access to your residence hall.

  • Identify valuable items and keep and record, including serial numbers.

  • When leaving on a scheduled College break or even for a long weekend, take your valuables with you. If that's not possible, make sure they are locked up securely before you leave.

Tips on Safeguarding Bicycles

  • Identify your bike by make, model, serial number, color, etc.

  • Engrave your bike, visibly marking it with your social security or license number. Engraving pens are available through Campus Safety.

  • Always store your bike in an authorized area. Your RD will tell you where that is for your residence hall. Never leave your bike unattended in the hallway, stairwell, fire escape, etc. This not only creates a fire safety hazard, but it places your property at risk for theft.

  • When you are not physically with your bike, lock it. The best locking method is to use a u-shaped lock. If one is not available, then use a 5/8 inch chain (minimum) casehardened steel chain.

  • Always lock your bike through both wheels and the frame. When locking your bike, secure it to an immovable object such as bike stand.

Tips on Safeguarding Your Vehicle

  • Lock your vehicle and pocket the keys.

  • Keep valuable items out of sight by locking them in the trunk. It is even better if you take your valuables with you when you leave your car.

  • Never put your address on your key ring. If you lose your key ring a thief will not only have your residence keys, but will know where you live.


How it works

Operation Engrave discourages thieves because engraved items are:

  • difficult to pawn

  • easy to identify as stolen property

  • easy to reclaim as your personal property because ownership is simple to prove.

The Program Is Easy

Engraving pens are available through the Campus Safety Office. You should:

  • engrave all your valuable items with your social security number or license number

  • record these items on the property guide provided

  • register your social security or license number with Campus Safety.

What Items Should Be Engraved?

Computers, stereos, tools, bikes, televisions, cameras, radios, musical instruments, cars, telephones and anything else that's valuable to YOU!

One More Tip!

You should check to see if your homeowners insurance covers your belongings while they are at Colby-Sawyer. Your insurance agent can tell you if you should to purchase additional coverage.