Where Did My Stuff Go?

Alexa L.

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A common experience at Westminster is having a personal item stolen.  From computers to phones, to food and shoes, things that are left unattended are taken.

One of the places that endures the most theft is the bookstore. Believe it or not, theft occurs at least two times a week there, according to Mica Snyder, who works at the bookstore.  

The bookstore does have prevention tactics such as security cameras and watching employees.  However, these don’t always catch culprits. Mrs. Snyder said, “It’s tricky because we don’t always know (that stuff has been stolen) until we do our inventory checks which are only a couple times a month.”

Not only does this happen at the bookstore, but theft also spreads as far as Turner and Clarkson Hall.

A variety of personal belongings get stolen at Turner while people are at their athletic activities.  To make matters worse, nobody knows who could’ve taken their belongings since the locker rooms are often empty during athletic practices.

At Turner, the most common item to be stolen is clothes. Over 68 percent of students have had clothes or shoes taken at Turner, and about 45 percent of people had their belongings stolen within 24 hours of leaving the item out.

Avery M., an eighth grader, said her bag full of clothes was stolen from Turner while she was at an athletic practice.

Moreover, Ashlee F., a seventh grader, said that she was with her friend at Turner when her computer got stolen while they were gone for a short period of time.

Finally, students such as Jeb B., and Chloe C. have had money and P.E. clothes stolen at Turner from unlocked lockers and unattended backpacks.

Clarkson Hall is also a prominent location for theft in the middle school. Bookbags often are left unattended during classes, and jackets are left outside of cubbies all of the time.

In Clarkson, the most likely items to be stolen are calculators. About 35 percent of middle school students have had calculators stolen from their lockers and cubbies.

Over 20 percent of middle school students have had a clothing item of theirs stolen, and around 60 percent of those students had their items stolen within 24 hours. Willem M., a seventh grader, said, “My jacket was stolen from deep inside my cubby within 24 hours, and I never got it back.”

Zeke Hoyos, the grade chair for the eighth grade, addresses the topic of who might be stealing all of this stuff. He said, “Unfortunately, we live in a large community, and there are also events happening all the time, especially with athletics. A lot of people coming and visiting, coming and going.”

However, prevention tactics for Turner include locking backpacks and belongings in lockers, especially at Turner.

Additionally, at Clarkson, Sr. Hoyos suggests keeping everything fully immersed in cubbies without things spilling out.  Also, keep belongings secure as much as possible and don’t leave computers out in the locker commons unattended.


Backpacks, jackets, books, and binders are left spilling out of cubbies. Photo courtesy of Alexa L.


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