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Langara College looking to step up security after laptop theft

The security office at Langara College.  Photo: Sableen Minhas
The security office at Langara College. Photo: Sableen Minhas

Reported by Sableen Minhas and Nich Johansen

Langara Campus Security is planning to increase patrols, improve lighting and implement crime prevention strategies this year, though the move comes a bit late for one student whose car was burgled in the underground parkade last month.

Strategies to prevent crime

David Aucoin, Langara’s security and safety manager, said that the goal is to deter crimes from occurring on campus. One of the strategies that Aucoin proposed is altering the campus design ­— such as to control where students congregate — to deter criminal activity.

Aucoin said that he is working towards making the campus “more unappealing, for the people to commit crime on the campus itself.”

The annual budget for campus security is set at $600,000.

“It includes all the security 24-7. Walking patrols, bicycle patrols and over-all security on the college property including the security office across the bookstore,” said Barry Coulson, associate vice-president of Administration and Finance at Langara College.

Recent theft on campus

On Sept. 18, fifth-year kinesiology student Brett Wiens left his backpack on the seat of his car in the underground parking lot. He ran back to the gym to drop off a set of keys, leaving his bag in view and unattended for five minutes. He returned to find his car window pried off and his backpack, containing his laptop and textbooks, stolen. A security guard was already on the scene, but since no one had seen the crime take place, the Vancouver Police Department and Wiens had few clues to go on.

“It was a crime of opportunity, where someone left valuable items in a clear space where anyone can see it and provided the opportunity,” said Aucoin. “Someone broke the driver side window, reached in and grabbed the knapsack along with the laptop.”

Due to lack of video surveillance, the Vancouver Police Department and Wiens had few clues to go on.

“I think they should have some kind of surveillance,” Wiens, a Falcons soccer player, offered. “Definitely down there, because nobody really sees anything down in the underground parking lot.”

A plan to install 10 to 12 closed circuit television cameras is also in the pipeline, Aucoin said.

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