The University is out more than $130,000 and is getting ready to
put down thousands more. Budget cuts? Nope. Fiscal
irresponsibility? Try again.

Kate Green
JASON COOPER/Daily
An LCD projector hangs from a classroom in Angell Hall near the Fishbowl. There have been numerous thefts of these expensive machines recently.

More than 25 liquid crystal display projectors have been stolen
from University buildings and Washtenaw Community College buildings
since March. The Department of Public Safety in conjunction with
WCC is offering a reward of up to $10,000 for information about the
theft of these projectors.

“These are similar crimes of a similar nature at the two
schools,” Bill Bess, director of DPS, said in a written
statement.

“Though we don’t have specific evidence, we are
working on the premise that these crimes may have been committed by
the same person or group of people as the crimes are so
similar.”

The last big wave of projector theft, which happened in 2002,
resulted in the arrest of an Ann Arbor man.

An LCD projector is used to display images from a small screen,
such as a laptop computer, onto a larger screen.

DPS spokeswoman Diane Brown said Microsoft Power Point
presentations used in class are generally displayed using LCD
projectors.

She said projectors can also be used for video displays.

Brown said she doesn’t know where the recently stolen
projectors are winding up but can say from past experience that
most stolen projectors wind up on the black market or are kept for
personal use to view movies and television.

She said none of the recently stolen projectors had been
recovered.

Brown said projectors have been stolen from all over campus.

“The medical campus buildings are high on the list,”
she said.

She said the large ones bolted to the ceiling in auditoriums and
lecture halls are stolen more often than small ones, which are
usually kept in locked cabinets.

A number of new security measures have been implemented to
protect the projectors, Brown said.

She said special locks and security cables are being used and
that a special effort is being made to lock auditorium closets
where projectors are stored.

But Art and Design senior Brian Wallin said safety measures have
not been implemented for LCD projectors in classrooms on the ground
floor of Mason Hall, so there is no deterrent for anyone who would
want to steal one.

“Anyone can walk by here. The light is on and the doors
are wide open,” he said. “It’s 20 feet away from
an exit. Someone can just wheel it (the projector) out.”

Brian Cheesman, custodian at the Chemistry Building, said
although the LCD projectors are not individually locked at the end
of the day, he does not believe their theft is a problem.

“We just lock up the classroom and labs and stuff but we
don’t secure them (the projectors).

“I’ve been here four months and they haven’t
been stolen,” Cheesman said.

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