KSA Office Broken Into on Feb. 28
News / March 9, 2017
While no valuables were stolen, security will increase
Alyssa Laube, Associate Editor
A crime was believed to be committed on KPU’s Surrey campus on Feb. 28 when burglars broke into the Kwantlen Student Association office.
A window in the Grassroots Cafe was smashed at approximately 5:00 that morning, and by the time the security team arrived on the scene, the Cedar building was already vacant.
According to KPU Chief Safety Officer Phil Goulet and Kwantlen Student Association General Manager Jeremy McElroy, nothing of value was stolen. However, the staff that conduct their daily business in the office were reportedly “unsettled” after hearing about the break-in.
“It’s impossible to say how long they were in the building. Our response time was under 20 minutes,” says Goulet. “It would appear that they didn’t spend a lot of time there because there was very little missing. I can’t tell you exactly what was missing but I can tell you there was nothing of high value, so no computers and no personal information was missing.”
McElroy says that, to his knowledge, the only items stolen from the office were “keys for cabinets that didn’t have anything valuable in them,” and that there was evidence of a failed attempt to open a commercial-grade safe. The locks have since been changed, and no important documents were pocketed.
“The only thing they could have really taken were our computer monitors. The computer monitors aren’t the easiest thing to walk away with, nor are they particularly valuable anymore,” says McElroy. “I think they assumed there would have been an easily accessible amount of cash … [but] we don’t really keep anything of value in that area. We don’t collect cash for services, which is what I think they thought we had in there.”
New security measures have been put in place since the break-in, including an increase and “re-deployment” of exterior patrols, says Goulet. The security patrols aren’t on campus every night. Usually, they’re only present on late Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings.
“We’re looking at making a change there,” says Goulet.
“We all have a role to play in security,” he continues, “and if people see something that’s out of place, please let campus security know. The red phones or emergency phones on campus are an easy way, and almost every classroom has a little placard above the light switch that says, ‘In case of emergency, call:’ and there’s a phone number listed there. That rings through to the person on duty.”
McElroy says that staff in the KSA office are “for the most part comfortable” despite the recent break-in, and that “people have always expressed feelings of safety and security in [KSA] spaces.”
“Regardless of where we would’ve been, this was probably bound to happen considering the extent to which they were trying to get in the space, but I don’t think that we, as an organization, are less secure than anyone else anywhere,” he says. “When people force entry into a building, there’s usually a lot of planning and foresight involved. While I believe patrols and better lighting are important to make our campus generally safer, in this particular incident, it was no failing of anyone—not the university or ours.”
As of print time there is no estimation for when the police investigation on the break-in will be concluded.