Thursday, February 11, 2010
Fifty-eight computers missing from classrooms and USC Upstate, and police say the criminal is like a “ghost”. Investigators say computers have disappeared from eight buildings since August.
As student cadet John MacDonald patrols the hallways at USC Upstate, he is taking a closer look at everything, because he and university police know whoever is responsible for stealing dozens of computers doesn’t stand-out, eluding video cameras and beefed up patrols. Chief of Police Klay Peterson says, “He has been lucky, and he’s very good. He is professional.“ Law enforcement believes he or she is someone in the community, maybe a student or perhaps someone who works at the university. Whoever it is, he or she has in intimate knowledge of how things operate on this college campus. Peterson says, “We have consulted with local law enforcement, SLED, FBI, USC Columbia, and they all tell us the same thing: we are doing the right things.” The University is installing a card access system and other electronic measures, and classrooms and buildings are locked up as often as possible.
The estimated value of the computers is about -37- thousand dollars. None of the tracking software has been triggered, so law enforcement believes they are being sold for parts or overseas. “To think that no one has seen anything… Sometimes we feel like we are chasing a ghost,” says Peterson. He says the culprits luck will run out. “I think they see this as a challenge, a cat and mouse game, and feel that they won’t get caught, and they are mistaken. They will.“ Until they do, John MacDonald will be watching, saying, “There are plenty of us out here.“