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A mock dorm room in Adams Hall shows the model for the residence halls newly constructed. 

Take out your trash and lock your door before you leave for spring break

Leaving trash or other perishable items could result in a $25 charge to the student.

It’s that time of year again — spring break, when students break out their swimsuits or go home to visit their families, and when Housing and Residential Life sends out their obligatory reminder to students to take their trash out of their rooms before they leave.

Staff attached checklists to students dorms detailing the sign out process. Instructions included removing perishable items from rooms and, for "Back South" residents, removing all possessions from the common areas of their suites.

Failure to comply with the checklist comes with consequences. Leaving trash or other perishable items could result in a $25 charge to the student, according to the checklist.

“A few tips to highlight include: making sure that all electrical items, except microwave/fridge and any fish tanks, are unplugged and a reminder to lock all windows and doors,” Pete Trentacoste, executive director of Housing and Residence Life, said in an email.

Ohio University Police Department Lt. Tim Ryan agreed that students should lock their doors when they leave for spring break. Theft from dorms over break is a concern for the department, he said.

“I think it’s always a concern,” Ryan said. “I think theft on campus is probably one of the most occurring crimes, along with, like, alcohol cases."

Ryan also said students should take anything valuable home with them. If students take home everything they value, he said, nobody can steal it.

“I think that people take those reasonable approaches of taking their stuff home and locking their doors and windows, it really mitigates the problem,” Ryan said.

One problem Ryan said he has encountered is students leaving their doors propped open or disabling the latches with magnets.

“It’s really important because that becomes part of your routine,” he said. “You don’t even think about it and you can leave and think you locked your door, and you haven’t.”

Students living off campus might have to deal with the same concerns. Athens Police Department Chief Tom Pyle said burglaries during breaks are “typical” and that the department always prepares for them.

Thieves tend to look for electronics, he said, including computers, cell phones and gaming consoles. He said lately burglaries have been happening when the perpetrators believe the owners are not home.

“Here recently I would say ... they’ve been taking place during the day, in broad daylight,” Pyle said. "The notion, we think, is that there’s a strong likelihood of … the place being unoccupied.”

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Locking doors and windows can lessen the likelihood of thefts, Pyle said.

“Most of the time they find unlocked doors and they just walk right in,” he said. “If somebody confronts them, they just act like they were looking for a friend or had the wrong address.”


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