Laptop bandit still on the loose

By on March 30, 2005

With three additional laptops stolen from locked faculty offices since Thanksgiving, facilities and its subsidiary security & safety are continuing the investigation surrounding the laptop thefts.

Joseph Rubertone, director of facilities, said he estimated there were 50-100 master keys capable of opening any door at Quinnipiac. The keys belong to different offices and individuals throughout the campus including facilities, information technology, security, audio/visual, residential life, health services and other administrative offices.

Rubertone said there were two different types of master keys at Quinnipiac. A grand master key can open any door in any building; a building master key can open any door in a specific building.

The director said he believes that the policy in place is “good” and “there is no reason to change it.” The policy is not the problem, Rubertone said, it is the individuals responsible. In addition, Rubertone said people do need master keys and will continue to have access to them. No keys have been reported missing or stolen this academic year.

While no students are issued master keys for extended periods of time, students can gain access to them as part of their jobs or duties on campus.

Because all new employees go through a background check upon being hired by the university, Rubertone believes there is no need to check again when issuing the key.

All university keys are “cannot be duplicated” without a form signed by Rubertone. Rubertone said one could not go to a hardware store and have it simply duplicated as the keys are specially designed.

In order to qualify to receive a grand master key, one must merit the assignment. An individual such as an associate director would need to receive a note from his or her supervisor explaining why a master key is needed.

John Twining, chief of security & safety, described the ring of laptop robberies as “perplexing.”

He said the thefts are still “under investigation” and advises all faculty members to lock their laptop computers in cabinets or desks, or to take them home.

Twining asks all faculty to report book buyers, visitors or people they normally do not see to security immediately. Despite the heightened vigilance, Twining said the university is not attempting to keep people away.

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