Earlier this semester, adjunct music professor Adam Sovkoplas noticed the pens in his office were going missing.
One at a time, he said, they would disappear from his desk and bag in his locked office in the Foster Building. Suspicious of theft, he bought a $30 pack and put them all in a carousel holder on his desk.
Not long after buying them, he returned to his office to find all of them gone. He was certain whoever broke in had a key, since there was no damage visible to the lock or the door.
“I lock the door every time,” Sovkoplas said.
Sovkoplas isn’t alone. The subsequent police report he filed was the seventh of the semester among faculty and students in the Foster Building. From Aug. 1 to Nov. 2, more than $80 worth of items was stolen from faculty offices, according to police reports obtained through an open records request. Police haven’t yet identified a suspect.
Most of the items reported stolen have been “small stuff,” like tape, pens and spools of wire, Sovkoplas said.
Christine Carucci, a graduate coordinator in the same department, reported three spools of brass wire and four spools of nylon thread stolen from her office on Aug. 30.
On Oct. 9, Carucci noticed another spool of brass wire went missing. She told police she always locks her door when she’s away, according to the police report. Her items have not since been recovered, she said. She hasn’t reported anything missing since.
Not all cases of theft have been reported to police, Sovkoplas said.
Faculty and students faced a similar problem during the first half of the semester. More than $3,000 worth of instruments and music equipment was stolen from third floor lockers and a practice room from August to early October. Police later tracked down one of the stolen instruments, a trombone, at Dan’s Discount Jewelry and Pawn.
In one instance in September, a student left $1,450 worth of percussion equipment in a Humes & Berg mallet bag in a third floor locker. When she returned from a practice room three hours later, the bag was gone.
In Sept. 4, another student left oboe reeds, staples and other items in a practice room on the fourth floor overnight. The items were missing when she returned at 8 a.m. the follow-
ing day, even though the door was found locked as it was when she left. The receptionist said no one had checked out the keys to the room during that time frame, according to the police report.
Sovkoplas said he did not know of any thefts since the police reports were obtained. Still, he stays cautious.
“I have not had anything else stolen, but it is generally known that I take a photograph of my desk every day before I leave for the day now,” Sovkoplas said.