CAMPUS: McGill to STOP laptop theft

McGill/News by

As more students choose to bring laptops to campus the opportunities for thieves to take them has increased. Last year over 120 laptops were reported stolen by students and unfortunately for laptop owners, the numbers are increasing.This is one reason why Security Services launched a new laptop tracking program for students in partnership with Connecticut-based Security Tracking of Office Property (STOP).

The program works by attaching a security plate with a tracking number to the top of the laptop. The security plate and accompanying warning label act as a deterrent to theft. The adhesive requires more than 800 pounds of force to remove, and if it is pried off leaves “Stolen Property” etched into the laptop casing, along with STOP’s phone number. The company claims that this makes the computer impossible to resell.

Having bought the equipment less than two weeks ago, Assistant Manager for Security Services Pierre Barbarie has already received a significant amount of positive feedback from students. As an incentive to get students to sign up for the service, Security Services will tag the first 500 laptops registered in the program for free. After that, students who wish to have their notebook tagged will be charged a one-time fee of $20.

“We were due to get a process like this,” said Barbarie. “Pawn shops aren’t going to buy laptops with these stickers.”

U0 Arts student Megan Stewart first learned about the new program during the Discover McGill street fair outside the Shatner building. “It would work really well,” she said as her new graduation present was being tagged. “It does look a bit ugly, but that’s okay. I made sure to put the red sticker on the bottom.”

The program itself costs between $6,000 and $7,000. However, Security Services stressed that the program was well worth the cost, which is roughly the equivalent of four or five laptops.Communications graduate student and laptop owner Dwayne Avery wasn’t fully aware of the new program, but thought it was a good idea.

“I’ve seen so many [personal] posters saying the thief could keep the laptop, but victims just wanted a copy of their documents.”

The sticker didn’t turn off Avery, who has friends who’ve lost their notebooks in previous years. “It’s not like computers are that aesthetically pleasing anyway.”

In addition to the new program, Security Services has also compiled a list of safety tips for notebook storage. Mostly common sense, the tips include locking your dormitory door, storing your laptop in a secure place and never leaving it in a parked car.