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Don’t make it easy for a thief: 5 ways to protect your personal property

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  • March 01, 2021

property safety streamWith a police force of 100-plus accredited officers, a fleet of marked and unmarked patrols and roughly 3,700 video cameras watching over campus, UAB has invested in keeping its students and employees safe.

But according to UAB Police Crime Prevention Manager Steven Gladden, campus is full of valuable items — from cell phones to laptops to textbooks — a criminal is tempted to snatch when you step away for just a moment. She also says there are multiple ways you can help secure your own property.

“Don’t make it easy for a thief,” Gladden said. “Protect your property.”

Keep an eye on your valuables.
Even if you’re just running to the restroom or going to grab a napkin in Starbucks, take your personal belongings with you or ask a friend or co-worker to watch them while you’re gone. Even something as simple as setting a cell phone down in a clinic waiting room can end in theft.

Don’t leave items in plain sight.
Don’t leave your property in a car seat in plain sight for any passerby to see. If you must leave items in the car, lock them in the trunk or place them in the floorboard and cover them with a jacket or towel.

Register your bike.
UAB’s bike policy strongly encourages all employees and students to register their bikes with UAB’s Department of Parking and Transportation. This can help authorities locate and return stolen bikes or identify owners of ones that found or impounded. Students who register their bikes receive a free helmet and U-lock.

Put your name on it.
Engraved or personalized items are easily identifiable, and a thief is more likely to be deterred from taking them in the first place. Metal or wooden objects can be engraved — including bicycles — and permanent marker on a backpack tag can help mark an item as yours.

Report suspicious activity.
If you see someone in a public area behaving suspiciously, alert UAB Police at 205-934-3535. Even if you don’t believe your property is in danger, a timely report could help keep another person and their belongings safe. The Help Phones located on your daily routes around campus — a direct link to UAB Police — are monitored 24 hours a day.