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'Tis the season to go pilfering

Campus crime on the rise as holidays near

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The semester is quickly coming to an end. Holidays are just around the corner, which means car prowlings could increase. Already in October, there were eight reported cases, where the stolen goods amounted to $3,000.

"It's a good time to remind the campus community with the Christmas season approaching, not to leave any valuables open in the windows," said Campus Security Manager Lanny Fritz. "Otherwise, we will have people that will smash windows and grab the contents."

Campus Security continues to scan parking lots with closed-circuit cameras, which has reduced the number of car prowlings but not eliminated them.

A student received a surprising e-mail after a laptop was stolen. Subsequently, the thief sold the laptop to an individual, who then e-mailed the student asking for money for the item's return. Fritz said it is common for stolen property to be sold in bar or pool hall parking lots. This case is currently under investigation.

In October, the campus community was stunned to hear of two attempted abductions. They occurred in the early morning of Sat., Oct. 25, by the same offender in Lot 10.

At 7:30 a.m., a female student was standing next to her car, reaching over to retrieve her backpack when an unknown man confronted her. He demanded she get back in the vehicle with him.

"She screamed and caused a commotion in the area, which alerted other drivers using the parking lot," said Fritz.

Other drivers approached the car, scaring the offender away. He got into his car and drove away. Minutes later, he drove back into the parking lot. At 7:40 a.m. he tried to force another female back into her car. This time, he stated he had a gun.

"She kicked him big time, in the abdomen, in the stomach and chest area," said Fritz. "Enough that he recoiled and stepped back."

It allowed her enough time to get out of the vehicle and away from the man.

"Both responses are the proper responses for people in those cases, to protect their personal safety," said Fritz.

After this case became publicized, a third victim came forward. The incident took place before the other two, around 7:19 a.m. A non- campus individual was walking towards campus when she noticed a suspicious person following her.

"She turned around and confronted him. He indicated he was looking for the Olympic Oval and Sports Med department," said Fritz.

The man is described as a black male, 30-40 years old, 58-9, who weighs between 200 and 300 pounds. He was clean-shaven, with a shaved head and a slight belly. He drove away in a silver/light coloured Chrysler PT Cruiser.

"Calgary Police indicate they have a suspect in mind, and are diligently continuing the investigation," said Fritz.

Fritz added Campus Security will soon sponsor a Safe and Sound program, a self defence class for women, in the next few months.

In the Den, a non-student had a little too much to drink and he grabbed a fire extinguisher off the wall and proceeded to spray the area, releasing a white powder on the dance floor.

"Our concern is the health issue related to the fire extinguisher being spent in a room full of people," said Fritz.

Calgary Police charged him with mischief.

After a night at the Den, a student claimed she was sexually assaulted.

"Calgary Police were contacted and are investigating an alleged sexual assault involving a student who met someone in the bar earlier in the evening and brought him back to her place," said Fritz.

It was early in the morning, around 1:30 a.m., when a residence student was walking home and was attacked by a group of people. He arrived at a crosswalk when a vehicle pulled up and didn't stop for him. Waving angrily at the vehicle, he was shocked when it immediately stopped and five males got out of the car, one of them carrying a knife. They threatened the student and physically assaulted him before leaving.

"His face was scraped along the pavement," said Fritz.

The matter was turned over to police.

Fritz would like to remind the campus community about evacuation procedures, as they had problems evacuating the building during a fire alarm.

"A lot of people don't know what they should do," said Fritz. "First, they should take with them their jacket, keys and wallet. Because there is a chance they might not be able to get back in the building depending on the cause of the fire alarm."

Once they grab their personal belongings, they should walk to the nearest exit and stay clear of the building. Only use stairwells--not elevators.

Finally, wait outside the building until instructed by the Fire Department, Campus Security, Safety Services or the building Emergency Wardens.

Parties interested in the Safe and Sound program can register at Campus Recreation. Students only pay $10, as the campus subsidizes the rest. Normally, it cost $100 for the corporate community. Classes happen usually on Saturdays, and are operated by a former policewoman from Calgary Police Services.

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