5 ways to protect your personal property

personal property safety stream

With a police force boasting 100-plus accredited officers, a fleet of marked and unmarked patrols monitoring campus and roughly 6,400 video cameras in campus buildings, parking decks and outdoor areas, UAB has invested in keeping Blazers safe on and around campus.

But according to Sgt. Marvin Hart, crime prevention specialist for UAB Police, 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. Hart also says there are multiple ways you can help secure your own property.

“Stay alert and be aware of your surroundings,” he said. “Don’t leave your valuables unguarded. Don’t take your personal security for granted and trust your own instincts. If something does not seem right, then leave the area and report your concerns to the police.”

Keep an eye on your valuables.

Even if you’re just running to the restroom in between meetings 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.

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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.

Register your bike.

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

Report suspicious activity.

One of UAB’s best defenses is the timely observation of a student or employee. Call 911 to report an imminent threat to safety. Situations and behaviors of concern that are clearly not emergencies can be reported to UAB’s Behavioral Threat Assessment and Management team or reported through the Rave Guardian app