A Wesleyan coach was the victim of a robbery in Duluth this month.
“From what I understand, the coach had his laptop and six of our sports iPads in his car, and his car got broken into.” said Lisa Williams, manager of the iPad program at the school. This program keeps a close watch on up to 320 iPad and iPad minis throughout the school. Through this program, she is able to remotely run all iPad apps and programs through software bought at the school.
“As soon as we found out the devices had been stolen, I was able to go into the program and categorize them in a way so that I was able to locate the cereal number on the stolen iPads,” said Williams. From this point, she then decided to lock down the iPads. In doing so, a message was delivered to the iPads, appearing on the screen the next time they were connected to Wi-Fi. They were stolen property from Wesleyan school, and to contact Lisa Williams immediately.
“The police already knew at this point. They had a full report from the coach,” said Williams. By the time the messages were sent out, two of the iPads had already been sold to unknown costumers via an online market. Not knowing they were stolen property, the men who bought the phones contacted Wesleyan after seeing the messages.
“The police were very efficient. As soon as I received the call, we immediately reached out to the officer who was assigned to the case, and within the very next day they had already set up for a meeting with the thief as an undercover sting operation. They were able to track the thief down from his screen-name,” Williams said. “[We] found out on Monday at 11 a.m., and they notified us of the arrest by 1 p.m. on Wednesday. The police let us know that this criminal had a long record, so we had definitely caught someone who had was a pro-criminal.”
Williams explained how to avoid situations like this by advising to “Never keep your devices in your vehicle. If you for some reason have to stop anywhere before you arrive, I always suggest locking it in the truck and covering it with a coat or blanket so that people peering in to the windows do not recognize devices.”
Remember to take steps to keep your devices safe. Some other things you can do to protect yourself:
- Minimize what you carry on a daily basis.
- If one or two cards are sufficient, leave the others secured at home. Clean your purse/wallet occasionally so you are not collecting valuable cards.
- Destroy ATM receipts that display your bank balance.
- Large purses may be fashionable but tend to collect a lot of receipts and possibly financial information. Consider scaling back.
- If you must leave a backpack, wallet or purse in your vehicle, tuck it away before arriving at your destination. Leave it at home or carry it with you when possible.
- An empty computer bag looks the same to a criminal who is quickly selecting the next target. (Take your computer and the bag.)
However, there is no need to feel uneasy. Rest assured that Wesleyan is a safe place due to the readiness and skill of the on-campus police.