Burns bank machine job biggest example of e-device theft on campus


Historic building: The main entrance to Heritage Hall, at the Southern Alberta Institute Of Technology, in Calgary. (Photo by Alaa Abdalla/The Press)

When it comes to theft on campus, SAIT may have scored a first when it comes to electronic devices.

In late August, an automatic teller machine (ATM) was grabbed from the Senator Burns Building, in the dead of night.

Police are still investigating the incident, in which the culprit, or culprits, broke down the north doors to the J Wing of the Burns and hauled the machine, a CIBC cash dispenser, out of the wing’s entrance way.

The thieves then spirited the machine, which stood about five feet tall, away, likely in a truck which had been driven up the doors.

“We don’t know if these individuals were SAIT students or just random burglars,” said Chris Gerritsen, a spokesman for SAIT, in an interview.

But they do believe the theft was the first of its kind at a post-secondary school in Alberta, and maybe in Canada, Gerritsen said.

It is also the latest and largest example of the most popular kind of pinch on campus: The theft of electronic devices.

Every year, thousands of dollars’ worth of possessions are stolen on the SAIT campus and are reported to Campus Security.

And every year, the items most often targeted are SAIT issued laptops, cell phones and textbooks.

Unfortuntely, the chances of campus security retrieving stolen items is low.

“It only takes about 10 seconds for thief to walk to an unsecured area and take something,” Gerritsen said.

Students find such items expensive, so if they see a textbook or a laptop left unattended they are more likely to take it,” said second year business student Sarah Yusef.

“I was studying last year in Heritage Hall building. It was near the end of the semester, so I was studying late night. I went to the bathroom and I left my Mac Book charger and my water bottle but took my other belongings (phone, laptop, headphones).

“When I came back my laptop charger was missing and I was only gone for about two minutes,” Yusef added.

“There’s a lot of people on campus and there are also lots of visitors,” Gerritsen said.

“It’s important to report something you might think is suspicious.

“We should look out for one another and protect our valuables. It’s important to keep in mind that if you see something, you say something,” Gerritsen said.

“Students have to be aware that theft on campus is preventable and their possessions can be out of harm’s way,”  Gerritsen warned.

If you been affected by theft on campus call Campus Security non-emergency line, (403) 284-8530.


Hold on tight: SAIT student Sarah Cameron hangs on to her backpack as she walks on campus. (Photo by Alaa Abdalla/The Press)


About Alaa Abdalla 2 Articles
As a news reporting and communications major in the journalism program at SAIT, Alaa Abdalla is working as a writer for The Press during the 2018-19 academic year.