Multiple thefts have been reported in the Mazama Gym at Central Oregon Community College. According to Bill Douglass, the director of sports and recreation, the thefts began toward the end of last term, and have continued into spring term. There are currently no suspects.
“We never had real big problems with theft (in the locker rooms) until recently,” Said Douglass. 5 to 7 thefts have been reported, but the accumulated monetary value of the items stolen haven’t been determined. In the wake of the thefts, more measures are being taken to stop individuals from stealing. “We have increased our presence in the locker rooms with staff walk throughs,” Douglass said, also explaining that there is a high frequency of staff walking through the locker rooms looking for suspicious activity.
Normandale Community College, Minnesota, having the same problem with locker room theft, took more radical measures. The college installed video cameras at the entrance of each locker room. In addition to the cameras, an ID card scanner was installed at the entrance. Only students with a valid ID card could enter the locker room. The device also logged all student ID numbers as students entered. The reports of stolen items ceased.
“It’s a hard one to take action, with the privacy issue in locker rooms.” Said Douglass. Federal Law states, under the Video Voyeurism Prevention Act of 2004, it is illegal to film “without consent under circumstances in which that individual has a reasonable expectation of privacy.” Oregon’s Invasion of Personal Privacy Statute states that it is illegal to record, or take pictures in a locker room.
“Most people would come in and put their stuff in the lockers without a lock,” Said Alli Jorgensen, an employee at Juniper Fitness Center in Bend. According to Jorgensen, When Juniper Fitness Center had problems with theft they made locks available to buy just in case people forgot their own.
“Everybody can come to the equipment room and rent a lock for one class, for an hour, or for a full term.” Douglass said in regards to keeping personal belongings from being stolen. “If thefts continue we will have to take some more extra measures.” Said Douglass. If suspicious activity is seen, according to Douglass, you should report to the equipment room or the manager’s office. For now, making sure you lock your personal belongings in a locker is the best measure you can take to avoid theft.
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