Bookstore thefts escalate, not limited to textbooks

Thefts at the university Barnes & Noble bookstore  have increased this year. While Trinity University Police Department has been notified, the bookstore remains independent in preventing and stopping the store thefts.

Thefts that have been reported to TUPD involve discs and access codes to online course material. Types of theft were reported to TUPD as early as May and continued into August and September of this semester.

“There has been a rash of thefts where they are stealing online books for the actual discs themselves. We were called to the bookstore to make a report for them and talk to the people in charge to get the information to initiate a police report,” said Patrick Trevino, TUPD sergeant.

The discs that allow students to use online course material that typically accessed through purchasing the book with an access code are being stolen.

Tracing stolen access codes and discs is difficult to do because it cannot be traced back to a particular person. The discs do not have theft codes on them to alert employees that they have been stolen.

“Usually it is the book that has the theft code that buzzes on the way out,” Trevino said.

As online courses continued to be utilized more and more by professors, the thefts of online courses by stealing access codes and discs have increased.

“Students are finding a way of not having to spend that money when they are supposed to by going to the bookstore, taking the CD out and getting the code so they can register online without having to pay for it,” Trevino said.

Book codes and discs are not the only recent thefts that the bookstore has noticed. “It happens when the students are walking out with books or opening packages getting the access codes. Also downstairs where they take the headphones, clothing and supplies. It just amazes me, but I think we just have been seeing it a little more,” said Dora Amador, manager of the Trinity bookstore.

The university bookstore is looking into purchasing security cameras to help them track down thieves and prevent more thefts from occurring. In preventive actions textbooks must now be purchased upstairs in the bookstore, while other items can be purchased downstairs.

“We are more aware of what’s going on. I know the kids on campus and some are telling me that it is easy to take stuff. Students out there are aware and students out there do care,” Amador said.

No students have been caught yet for any of the thefts. If a student is caught, he or she could face legal action from the bookstore or actions from conduct board.

“We would first read the incident report and we would do an investigatory phase. We determine what policies were violated,” said Sara Miller, senior and co-chair of conduct board.

Many of the thefts from the bookstore have involved stealing smaller and cheaper items like headphones and even a poster.

“It really depends on the severity and different circumstances and all kinds of things. It is still a violation, I would say, respect for property and/or respect for community,” Miller said.

“I don’t know why it’s happening, but they have a lot to lose if they get caught, especially at Trinity,” Amador said.