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MIT student blogger Lulu L. '09

Laptop by Lulu L. '09

There should be a special place in hell for laptop thieves.

dammit, my laptop and camera got stolen out of my room. Campus police has been thusfar unhelpful as usual in locating the perpetrators.

These entries might take a lot longer than I thought. Gotta start over. Good thing I already turned in my thesis.

42 responses to “Laptop”

  1. jdk says:

    Totally lame!

  2. Mike says:

    Jeez, and you’re almost out of there too…

  3. Stacy says:

    Really sorry to hear that. Thank goodness you turned in your thesis.

  4. David '13 says:

    awww that sucks… right when you’re graduating!?

  5. Justin '13 says:

    What a douche move. Students should be expelled for doing things such as that.

  6. Munroe Mom says:

    Hi Lulu,

    My kid’s laptop was taken from her East Campus dorm room finals week. When she called campus police, they said there was a campus wide emergency and couldn’t respond right away. It turned out to be a car chase. I guess it was way more exciting than respondong promptly to a freaked out student trying to keep calm before finals.

    I am very sorry it happened to you too. I don’t know whether two thefts in one place constitutes a trend, but I wish campus police had been more responsive to my kid. Perhaps you’d still have your laptop if they were.

    So sorry, and congratulations graduating.

  7. Snively says:

    That sucks! I’d die.

    @Munroe Mom
    It’s not an EC trend, it’s a college dorm thing. I’m sure there have been laptop thefts at all the dorms (at least according to the police logs). It just happens more often during cleanout since parents and helpers are shipping stuff out for kids. It also happens more during CPW (when all the doors are open) and orientation (when all the doors are open). Throughout the year it’s pretty good though.

  8. cristen says:

    o_o I guess when I live in your room next year I’ll be keeping the door closed more… x_x

    or installing some leet system to attack intruders. actually, that sounds like a fun summer project…

  9. Current '11 says:

    “Campus police has been thusfar unhelpful as usual in locating the perpetrators.”

    I understand that you’re frustrated that your laptop was stolen.

    I just wanted to put my 2 cents in, and comment that the MIT police has been very helpful to me on many occasions. They even gave me a ride to Boston a couple of time, when I stayed too late on campus doing problem sets.

    Was your computer registered with the MIT police?

  10. lulu says:

    This is the second time this has happened on my hall this semester. I don’t know about other dorms, but it is definitely way too common of an issue in East Campus.

    First time, a couple of kids on hall actually saw the thieves run out w/ the laptop, they chased them and took down their license plate number, and when they contacted campus police with this information, they were told that the laptop has “probably been pawned off by then” and there was nothing to be done. Now, I’m not sure if I have a misconception as to the job of police officers, so correct me if I’m wrong. It’s my impression though, that, as well as offering rides to kids who stay out too late doing psets, their job is to go after crooks. When a laptop has been “pawned off”, is their job finished?

    The past two days I’ve gotten more lectures about growing up and getting used to the “real world” than offers of assistance from the campus cops. Now, I know, in order of influence as to the way the events unfolded, it goes something like 1) thieves 2) me, in terms of not hiding my valuables well and leaving my door unlocked. But it is still 100% the fault of the crooks and 0% the fault of the victim. It doesn’t make them less culpable to catch the bad guys that I could have been more careful with storing my things.

  11. Cam says:

    Did you try the Cambridge or State police? They may be more useful or equally useless, but… if you have a license plate number, they may be willing to do something. :/

    Best of luck.

  12. Steph says:

    How horrible and extremely unfortunate. Are these crooks other students, perhaps? :—–
    AUTHOR: Michael Plasmeier ’13
    EMAIL: [email protected]
    DATE: 05/25/2009 09:21:26 PM

    I have one, but I am often to lazy to use it. Guess I will have to.


    I am careful about making sure door is closed and locked. Last summer at camp (living in Drexel’s dorm) I even locked the door when I went to the bathroom. Hopefully my roommate is as careful as I am!

  13. Albert '13 says:

    Dang that sucks! Maybe you should use Google Docs so that you don’t lose your data even if your computer is stolen or you place your computer too close to a neodymium magnet. I hope you get it back!

  14. Sheila ('13) says:

    Well, just in case, in the future, isn’t there some way to further protect your laptop besides locking the room? Maybe some laptop tracker I’ve read about somewhere a LONG time ago?

  15. Jamo (GT'13) says:

    Arrg, that is one of my fears about having a nice laptop on a college campus.

    But I am terribly sorry to hear that happen. I am still upset at the idea of stealing in general as a matter of fact.

    Robberies are not a commonality on MIT are they?

    sorry once more, take care.

  16. How tightly controlled is the access of the dorm? It may be a better thing if, for instance, only the residents on the same floor are granted access to their floor.

  17. Somebody says:

    Nowadays most pawnshops receive a list of items stolen from the cops and take down accurate accounts of who sold them what. The cops should report the laptop and fax the pawnshops within 20 miles of MIT. If the pawnshop owner had done what they are supposed to then finding ur laptop would only mean locating the pawnshop and then finding the people who stole it. The DMV should give the license plate info as well to prosecute the crooks to get some money even if ur laptop cant be found. I know this cuz my grandpa’s a pawnshop monopolizer in Denver. Nuggets suck.

  18. Somebody says:

    I suggest buying a laptop locking chain that fits into a special grooves in laptops. My laptop was stolen recently and i never leave my laptop unchained.

  19. Somebody says:

    @little peonies
    Ur idea has good intentions but by limiting the access it would require thousands of dollars in security staff, technology and it would completely ruin the fun of college. College would simply be a jail cell. Parties would be inexistent and communal get together would have to meet in public places which defeat the point of a private college such as MIT.

  20. lulu says:

    I mean you have to be careful about who you’re punishing… limiting access for residents could marginally improve the security of the dorm and the things in it, assuming thieves for the most part are people with keys. I don’t think that’s the case, though. On the same day that my stuff got stolen, there was an attempted theft at senior house, but because people were around the guy was spotted and chased out. He didn’t have any affiliation w/ MIT, neither did the people who stole from my hall mate earlier this semester. The thought that the guy got chased out, the incident reported to campus police, and then proceeded to get into EC and manage keep stealing things, that’s what drives me crazy. Shouldn’t the cops have been on his ass? Or at least patrolling the scene…

  21. lulu says:

    I’m going to be honest, this is the first time this has happened to me on campus. I’ve lost a $50 bike before and I felt pretty bad for a while, but not this bad. I feel really victimized, right now. If it had been just my laptop or just my camera ($600 body and $400 lens), it wouldn’t be so bad, but I’ve lost absolutely everything of value to me here, all in one go, right when I’m saving up money to move and start life elsewhere. And the worst part is it’s no natural disaster or accident that took these things away, it’s freaking sick people with no regard for anyone else but themselves.

    I keep telling myself that these are just things, and things can be replaced, even at a tremendous cost in ratio to what I make. My favorite lens was on that camera, I wish I’d put a crappier lens on there. But it’s the principle of it, you know? Why would you steal from people who have nothing? Students who’ve saved up for years to buy a couple of nice things… What’s wrong with you.

  22. lulu says:

    And of course thanks everyone for the kind words and suggestions… I will look into getting a laptop lock of some sort, I hate having to sacrifice so much convenience because of crappy-ass people.

  23. Piper '12 says:

    You’ve probably thought about this already, but no harm mentioning it – if you ordered stuff online and it might be saved in your web browser or on the website itself, you probably should cancel those cards/take other identity theft precautions.

    I’m sorry :( Even with your thesis turned in and objects just being objects, it just must be a violating feeling to know someone walked in your home and took something of yours. My hallmate’s laptop was stolen a short while ago (Munroe Mom’s daughter), and it just sucks to feel that your hall isn’t always safe.

    Best of luck.

  24. Alex says:

    I’m sorry to hear that your things are gone. I can’t believe that people get a thrill out of taking things that don’t belong to them. I hope you can find it.

  25. '13 says:

    i’m sorry :( why are the police so lackadaisical??? don’t they care?

  26. An event to remember MIT by! OK, that was kind of mean. I hope you find it!

  27. Alberta'13 says:

    Really sorry to hear that , lulu.
    It is really bad to have your laptop stolen, I mean, I ‘d rather they steal my brain.

    actually, if the campus police are too busy with some so-called important events, it should be ok to call the Cambridge cops?

    Hope that you can find it.

  28. Sheila '13 says:

    Hey Lulu, here’s the link to something I was talking about:


    Just some suggestions to help to guard against theft in the future. I’m also thinking about how I can protect my laptop better in the future after this blog. smile

  29. Anonymous says:

    Oh my God!

    Can you imagine how horrid it would have been had you not submitted your thesis?

    Gaa…that would have sucked.

  30. lulu says:

    lol I’ve been wishing hard about having installed a self-destruct button on my laptop lately.

    Thanks for the links, sheila.

    And anonymous- yeah something like the thesis you really should back up. I was doing that every time I remembered into my public folder.

  31. Jamo(GT'13) says:

    I suppose all we can do it limit the valuables, keep them locked away, or carry them everywhere with you. I know with my laptop, it will be on my back every instant it is not on my workspace table (except showers of course).

    Again, I am terribly sorry to hear that news. But on a brighter side, it helps all incoming freshman realize that college is not exactly utopian, and that bad things can happen. Be careful everybody!

  32. I feel like I just want to give you a hug right now. When I read this entry and your comments, /my/ heart sunk. I really hope that you can get past this and even get your belongings back–I can imagine that at MIT those two items would be the ones I lived (and felt like I could die) by. I hope that this doesn’t overshadow the fact you just graduated from MIT! You freaking did it! ^_^ It’s been a pleasure reading your posts, and I hope that your optimism and prospects for the future serve as your guiding light through such an undeserved hardship.

  33. Anonymous says:

    How often do thefts like this happen at MIT?

  34. Sheila '13 says:

    Hey Lulu, no problem! Hope you can get your laptop back or get a new :D Have fun in New Mexico this summer! :D

  35. Graham says:

    Backstopp enables organizations and individuals to perform a remote deletion of data files on any lost or stolen PC, Laptop, PDA or Mobile phone utilizing either the GSM (mobile) network, Internet or RFID.

  36. lulu says:

    I just looked this up on the internet and… something like 97% of stolen laptops never get found again :( soooo… GOOD NEWS I’VE BOUGHT A NEW THINKPAD.

    bad news… I’ve used up pretty much 80% of my savings replacing these items.

  37. lulu says:

    thefts like this are disturbingly common on college campuses. especially college campuses where everyone has a laptop… like MIT. I recommend taking your laptop everywhere with you (whch is what I did for most of this year) or being careful about locking your door

  38. Lulu – Some homeowners insurance policies cover thefts while students are living in college dorms. I suggest you ask your parents to check it out.

  39. lulu says:

    i like this laptop lock idea

  40. MIT '11 says:

    Just last week my mouse was stolen while I showered. Thankfully, I had brought my laptop into my room before showering, but unfortunately left out my mouse.