Wave of burglary at campus

During the summer UiO experienced four cases of burglary. It is feared that people that own key cards are behind the actions, which means they can strike again.

– The burglary at The Faculty of Humanities are obviously done by someone with access to key cards, Frode Meinich, head of technical matters at UiO, says.

Universitas has previously reported on one break-in at The Faculty of Social Sciences (SV) and two further break-ins at The Faculty of Humanities (HF). A last case of somebody breaking in to a university building took place at the Institute of literature, area studies and European languages. All of the burglaries have happened during the summer holidays, and they all seem to be done by someone with internal access to the buildings.

– Can strike again

– If a key card has ended up in the wrong pair of hands, it’s like loosing a key. The burglars can very well strike again, Meinich says.

Technical Advisor at UiO, Trond Erik Eriksen, points out that many of the key cards used at HF are old and need to be replaced. These cards don\'t require the use of a PIN-code.

– Today UiO has no real way of tracing key cards if they aren’t used together with a PIN-code. This makes knowing whether it\'s a case of a key card in the wrong hands hard. It is also difficult to know who is using the different key cards during the day, Eriksen says.

If a key card is lost, one can\'t rule out new cases of thefts at HF.

The room exposed to theft is located on the 11th floor of the Niels Treschow building. The burglars got in using a key card and then broke into cabinets from which they stole equipment.

– It seems like they knew the building well. The room is quite secluded, Eriksen says.

He tells that the burglars got away with a couple of microphones, tape recorders and projectors – among other things. Jan-Børge Tjäder, of Institute of literature, area studies and European languages, estimates the value of what the burglars stole to about 6000 NOK. In one of the other cases of theft the thieves stole equipment worth 26 000 NOK.

Possible link

Eriksen doesn’t rule out the possibility of only one culprit – or a criminal gang – being behind all of the burglaries.

– That is for the police to figure out. But it is possible that somebody with intimate knowledge about UiO is responsible for more than one of the break-ins.

Eriksen has worked with safety on campus since 1996, and is well aware that the university is especially vulnerable during the summer.

– When few people are around, a lot of things can happen, he says.

The administration at HF does not wish to comment on the safety routines at the faculty. Student representative Johan Tunestam is on the other hand of the opinion that actions must be made:

– That somebody has been able to walk into the buildings three times is just stupid. To me it all seems very strange. If the safety routines are deficient something must be done at once, Tunesam says.

Both Meinich and Eriksen want to improve security on campus. They wish the funds for such measures were more readily available.

– We need card readers that are linked up to our access control system, Eriksen says.

Police lost report

The report on the burglaries at Institute of literature, area studies and European languages was filed on August 20th. Still the management of the institute hasn’t been informed what the police intend to do next. When Universitas called Majorstua Police department it turned out that the report was lost, and that no investigation of the matter had been initiated. The police now ask the institute to file the report again.

The police had no opinions as to whether there is a link between the different cases of theft at UiO. The other cases of burglary on campus have been dropped.

Meinich doesn’t wish to comment on the police investigation of the break-ins.to.

– We file a report on all such cases, and of course we hope for the ones behind being caught.