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January 15, 2013

Computers, cash reported missing by Doc

Doc Films reported two iMac computers and some cash as missing to the University of Chicago Police Department (UCPD) on January 3. This is the fourth such incident at Doc that has occurred since the beginning of the academic year.

The computers were taken from Doc’s office on the third floor of Ida Noyes Hall, and the cash, the amount of which was not specified in the police report, was taken from “another office on the first floor.” According to University spokesperson Jeremy Manier, the items were taken from Doc. The incident report indicates that it occurred over winter break.

Doc also filed a police report on November 26 following the third incident, which occurred over Thanksgiving break, when they found $150 missing from their cash lockers. In November, Doc’s General Chair, fourth-year Michaeljit Sandhu, said he was “hesitant to ‘officially’ label” the incident as a theft while police investigations were still ongoing. It was referred to as a theft in the police report.

Neither the first nor the second incident was reported to the UCPD.

“At least once a quarter someone will misplace the change,” Sandhu said in an e-mail to the Maroon in November. “Since Doc is such a big organization, and it’s made up of volunteers, we usually assume that it’s going to happen once a quarter.”

“There’s too many people handling money for it not to happen once,” he said.

At the time of the second incident, a wallet was also found missing from the backpack of a Doc affiliate. The affiliate chose not to report it to UCPD.

The January 3 incident is referred to as a burglary in the police report. According to UCPD spokesperson Robert Mason, a theft is defined as the “unlawful taking of property from the possession of another person,” while for an incident to be defined as a burglary it requires that a structure be entered unlawfully.

Doc receives funding through the Program Coordinating Council, one of the bodies through which SG allocates money from the Student Life Fee to RSOs. Doc Films received $90,796.77 for the 2012–2013 academic year, a $53,796.77 increase from last year. According to SG President Renard Miller, the increase was due to Doc’s stated intention to purchase a new projector.

In response to questions about the security system at Ida Noyes, Manier said in an e-mail, “The University typically does not comment on the details of security arrangements for individual buildings.”

As of November, Doc was considering changes to their security practices.

“We’re in the beginning of a conversation with our adviser and other ORCSA staff about whether it makes sense to store change in an alternate location or to use a different system altogether,” Sandhu said in an e-mail at that time.

Doc Films declined to comment for this article.

Additional reporting by Celia Bever and Ben Pokross

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