The University Department of Public Safety held its first public crime meeting of the semester Monday to educate the University community about crime and other safety issues.

Joe Piersante, the interim executive director for the new Division of Public Safety and Security, began by discussing the reorganization of security organizations, that was authorized by the University’s Board of Regents at their meeting on Friday.

The Division of Public Safety and Security will encompass all of the safety and security programs on campus including the police, hospital security, housing security, museum security, contract guard security and emergency preparedness.

“This is an effort by the University to coordinate all these services to provide a better service to our University community and create a more safe, secure environment for everybody,” Piersante said.

Officials reported a number of comparative statistics that reveal last year’s crime trends. The number of breaking and entering incidents is up 60 percent this year with 32 — last year only 20 were reported. The number of sexual assaults has also jumped from 6 last year to 16 this year. The total number of crimes this month is up 98 percent compared to last October. Total crime this year is up 32 percent from this time last year.

The meeting specifically focused on a recent increase in larcenies — 131 percent for the month of October. In the past 28 days, there have been a total of 83 larcenies, whereas during the same period last year, there were only 36. As a whole, larcenies are up 35 percent in comparison with 2011.

DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said after the meeting she believes the recent spike in larceny is related to an increase in the amount of drugs in circulation in the Ann Arbor area. Brown explained that someone who steals a Macbook may exchange it with a drug dealer for illegal substances.

Since Jan. 1, a total of 113 laptops have been reported stolen — Macbooks accounting for more than one-half of computers taken. The majority of thefts have been centralized in the major libraries — the Hatcher Graduate Library, the Shapiro Undergraduate Library and the Duderstadt Center. There have been 38 reported thefts in Hatcher, 19 in the UGLi and 11 in the Duderstadt Center.

On Monday, University Police arrested a 49-year old man unaffiliated with the University for attempting to sell a laptop stolen earlier in the day, Brown said in an earlier interview. The owner of the laptop, a student, found a post on Craigslist advertising a computer similar to his laptop. Officers arranged to meet the suspect to purchase the computer, and arrested him upon contact. The laptop was recovered.

In addition to laptop thefts, bicycle thefts have also increased. A reported 94 bikes have been stolen since Jan. 1, whereas throughout the entirety of last year, only 69 thefts were reported.

In addition to personal electronics, DPS now allows students to register their bicycles.

DPS Sgt. Gary Hicks said he believes the registration programs are crucial in preventing future thefts, noting that if an item is registered, “chances are, it won’t get stolen.”

“Our job is to try to prevent this from happening,” Hicks said. “We decided after looking long and hard that we have this laptop registration program, and none of the laptops that were stolen were registered. So we upgraded the laptop registration program, and in addition … we decided to start registering bicycles as well.”

DPS also reviewed notable crimes of the past week at the meeting. These included a larceny from Hatcher, where suspect Christopher Steven Adgate reportedly stole an iPhone 4. Other stolen goods were also recovered upon Adgate’s arrest.

There was also a report of aggravated assault Saturday just outside Michigan Stadium where an unknown suspect reportedly kicked a victim in the face multiple times before fleeing the area.

Latreece Taylor, a University Hospital security investigator, noted that recently counterfeit currency has circulated through the hospital. While it is often unknown to those who are attempting to use the money, Taylor cautions people to be aware of the money they are handling and alert authorities if it seems out of the ordinary.

Business senior Stephanie Karaa and LSA senior Francesco Balducci, program assistants with Beyond the Diag — a program started two years ago to provide crime and safety information to students living off-campus — presented information about the program. Beyond the Diag hosts “safe, community-related” events such as alcohol-free tailgates along with distributing their newsletter to the roughly 32,000 off-campus residents.

“We focus mainly on … reminding them that the University still cares about them and is invested in their wellness, their safety and them being a part of some level of the community,” Karaa said.

DPS will hold an additional meeting later in the semester. It is not scheduled yet.

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