by Maya Kaufman
While some students celebrated Summer Sendoff this weekend, their unattended possessions were disappearing. The Office of Campus Safety received five student reports of thefts that occurred in the coat room of Peirce Hall between Friday, April 24 and Monday, April 27, according to Campus Safety Supervisor Deb Shelhorn.
The stolen objects included entire bags of possessions, a laptop, textbooks and athletic gear. The multiple reports spurred Miracle Mahle, Campus Safety’s administrative assistant, to send a Student-Info email on Tuesday, April 28 notifying the student body of the thefts and warning students to protect their belongings.
Campbell Fee ’18, who plays for the women’s soccer team, said her cleats, running shoes and a pair of Kenyon soccer pants were stolen out of her soccer bag in the coat room on Sunday. Nametags and a piece of fabric used to identify the bag as Fee’s were ripped off. Fee said her bag was the only one the thief went through and removed possessions from; her teammates’ entire bags were taken. “I felt like it was OK to leave my soccer stuff and certain things that weren’t quite valuable to people that aren’t me, but now I’m kind of thrown off by it all,” Fee said. “I don’t think right now I’m going to leave anything.”
As a result of the thefts, Safety officers will be making extra rounds through Peirce. Shelhorn said Safety aims for officers to go through the building approximately four or five times in a 10-hour shift. Shelhorn would not comment on other measures Safety might take because they were not finalized. Because the thefts occurred over Sendoff weekend and there were many visitors on campus, Shelhorn noted the possibility that the thief may not have been a student. Campus Safety has filed reports with the Knox County Sheriff’s Office.