by Joe Cook
Two years ago, the administration told the student body that the addition of security cameras around campus would make the school a safer place for students.
However, with the recent theft of hundreds of dollars worth of cash and smart phones from the varsity football locker room, the cameras did not help to catch the culprit of the crime.
On Sept. 13 during varsity football practice, approximately 14 people had the locks on their lockers cut and their valuables stolen by a yet-to-be-apprehended culprit.
During this time, there were groups of people from three different schools in Reckling Gymnasium for the fall basketball league.
There was a witness who saw a man who could have possibly have been the thief, dressed as a worker, wearing a tool belt and walking in and out of the locker room during the time the theft could have happened.
Principal Rev. Patrick Fulton, C.S.B., believes that whoever did it knew what he was doing.
“He had some familiarity with the situation,” Fulton said. “He knew what time the varsity team was practicing, where the locker rooms were and how to access them.”
The doors that lead into the locker room are normally locked during practice. The door that comes in from the parking lot was left unlocked on the day of the theft. That door is equipped with a crash bar on the inside, which may not latch properly if enough force is not applied to close the door. There are security cameras inside the building that look at the door of the locker room. The cameras on the outside of the building are able to look down at the parking lot outside of the locker room doors but not directly at the outside doors themselves.
There was one unexpected anti-theft device in the locker room: the appearance of senior Eric Martin’s cell phone.
His AT&T flip phone was not stolen by the thief, who was looking primarily for smartphones such as Droids or iPhones.
“The key to having nothing stolen is having nothing worth stealing,” Martin said. “They saw my phone and wanted nothing to do with it.”
The student who had the most stolen in cash was senior John Minnis.
“I had more than $200 stolen that day because I had to pay for gas and bring in my Walk-a-Thon money,” Minnis said. “From now on, I’m going to keep my cash somewhere else when I’m at practice.”
Fulton said that better security measures will be implemented in the future.
“As a result of this, we will increase security,” Fulton said. “Whether that means increased security personnel presence or increased security camera coverage, we will make sure the school is a safe place.”
On September 14, students who had things stolen were informed that a police report had been filed. There had also been a theft at other private schools around Houston similar to one here.
One thing that the theft will for sure bring about is an increase in use of the security measures in place.
Already on the coaches’ office is a new sign replacing the old one that says “Knock and wait to be acknowledged before entering, this is not a hallway to the training room.”
Coaches will ensure – as students should as well – that doors are locked during practice to make sure no unwanted intruders get inside the locker room.
“There is no deterrent for a determined thief,” Fulton said. The greatest security measure we have is our community. Tell a person in charge if there is someone suspicious on campus. We must protect each other.”