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Campus Police adopts high-tech program to return valuable, stolen items

Loyola Campus Police is taking new measures to return lost or stolen items to students more effectively and efficiently.

My Property Locker, the new system that Campus Police is encouraging Loyola students to use, was developed by both retired and current Maryland law enforcement officers to help cut down on the number of lost or stolen items that do not get returned to their owners. The system is free and allows users to register the serial numbers, take photos, and include any other distinguishing marks of their valuable property. This may be done online, on, or through the Android or Apple My Property Locker smartphone App, which allows users to scan the UPC codes on their items and enter them into the system.

“If you did lose something like your laptop, all of campus police would have access,” said Maj. Sean Kapfhammer, assistant director of public safety, “so when they find it, they can run the serial number and say, ‘Oh this belongs to Jane Doe’ and immediately return it to the student.”

The system also boasts a high level of security. No one, not even the police officers themselves, can access the data entered into the system. The program’s website states that the security on the site is 256 bit encryption, which it claims is “better than your online bank security.”

Over the summer, Kapfhammer was looking at low cost programs to bring to Loyola and discovered My Property Locker. The representatives from My Property Locker came and spoke to Campus Police and Kapfhammer decided the program would benefit both the Loyola student body and Campus Police. Other departments on campus are beginning to adopt the system as well.

Before adopting the My Property Locker program, Campus Police had trouble returning lost or stolen items to their owners because most students did not record their product information. “We try to push here to have you record your serial numbers or have you bring your stuff here and we’ll engrave your name on it,” said Kapfhammer.“But how many people really do that?” Before systems like this, unclaimed items that police had recovered would be sold in police auctions.

A system like My Property Locker would increase the percentage of items that successfully get returned.

Since its creation in May 2013, My Property Locker has continued to grow. “I know other schools are using this but we’re one of the first,” said Kapfhammer. “I think we’re getting in on the ground floor.”

Kapfhammer believes that the program will continue to spread. “It’s not just good for college campuses, it’s good for everyone,” he said. The more citizens the system reaches, the more stolen property can be returned to their owners and the more streamlined law enforcement’s processes in accomplishing this can become.

According to Kapfhammer, the creators of My Property Locker are getting close to coming to an agreement with Best Buy so that every product bought through the retailer is automatically entered into the My Property Locker System. Kapfhammer said: “If that happens, it’s going to be huge.”

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Campus Police adopts high-tech program to return valuable, stolen items