MIT Crime Club: MIT mascot Tim the Beaver as fearless campus crimestopper

MIT Crime Club, Sep 1, 2018 

This should stop the bad guys from stealing your bike!
“Bicycle Theft Prevention Workshop,” MIT Events Calendar, October 9, 2010.

wheel release lever secured with hose clamp   bicycle with theft-deterrent paint design

Members have been known to give away free saliva-alcohol test strips.

“Someone from the Crime Club … gave us kits to detect dangerous drugs in cocktails or determine somebody’s blood alcohol level from their saliva.  Ken was very happy, because as an ASA person he allocated money to the crime club.”

Sam Maurer, Marching Band Entry,” Life & Culture (blog), MIT Admissions, November 1, 2005.

Findings:  The label instructions are incomprehensible to anyone who’s over the limit.

Which dorm won the club’s Sparky the Fire Dog Award for Not Setting Off as Many Fire Alarms as Last Year?

FAIR Fund invited the club to nominate a candidate for the semiannual Dru Scholarship Award, supporting efforts by students to combat violence against women.  Club member Brittan Smith (Harvard ’09) shared the $1500 award for her work in making a drink-spiking test kit available to students at Harvard College.

The Harvard Crime Club was organized by students “looking to MIT’s Crime Club as an example.”

Xi Yu, “CSI: Harvard,” Flyby (blog), Harvard Crimson, January 30, 2010.

The Council passed a resolution thanking the Campus Crimestoppers for making the campus and city a “safer and more welcoming environment for students.”

Cambridge, Mass., Res. 37 of Sept. 26, 2011

Entrepreneurship Center judges selected Club president Thea Koullias ’13 as a top-ten contestant in the Products and Services track of the $100K Elevator Pitch Contest.  She presented the club’s idea for a stolen-property recovery service, “Tornero.”  The Tornero Business Plan, submitted to MGMT 15.390 (New Enterprises), aimed for a revenue of $5.4 million by year 4.

Koullias ultimately decided to start up her own fashion-tech brand instead.  But someday some other intrepid Sloan student may overhaul this project idea and take it all the way to beta testing... See the Minutes of the club’s IAP 2011 group meetings.

The Campus Crimestoppers have been trying to find a personal-safety device that actually works.  We’ve determined that chemical sprays may be a bad idea if you’re facing upwind; that whistles are universally ignored; and that tactical flashlights are almost effective — meaning, useless.

Eventually we gave up and designed our own device, an optoacoustic “sonic flashlight.”  It’s described in the venture principals’ 2007 Venture Information Form.

The director of the Entrepreneurs Club invited our project team to serve as the study case for MGMT SEM 089, Starting Up New Technology-Based Business Enterprises at MIT.

April 2010.  Of the twelve largest universities in Massachusetts, MIT reports the highest theft rate!

University  |  Theft rate = (net value of property stolen) ÷ (10,000 degree-seeking students enrolled)  |  Stolen-property recovery rate

      MIT $ 306,000       2.5%
  Harvard $  156,000 7.4%
  Boston Univ. $    97,000 5.0%
  Northeastern $    71,000 5.8%
  UMass–Amherst      $    62,000 7.5%

Data source: “Uniform Crime Reporting Record Card,” 2008 & 2009, in FBI, Supplement to Return A Master File (2009 & 2010).  CJIS_COMM, email message to MIT Crime Club, 2011.

Update, June 2012.  MIT hires five additional patrol officers!

Stolen-property data for MIT, Harvard, and BU police jurisdictions, 2006–2014.

In 2009 the club sent two P.I.s to investigate a murder scene at Harvard!  The Oxygen network even mentions us in the credits for the “Brittany Smith and Jabrai Copney” episode of Snapped: Killer Couples

“A Harvard student and a chart-topping music producer’s secret criminal life is exposed when a botched drug deal leads to murder…”

Brittany Smith & Jabrai Copney, at 43:22

The authoritative (glossy) version of the story: Jason Schwartz, “The Case of the Gumshoe Geeks: The Curious MIT Club That’s Taken On a Murder Investigation as an Afterschool Project, Boston Magazine, August 2009.

The pulp version: Jessica Fargen, MIT Kids Send Spies to Harvard,Boston Herald, June 3, 2009.  (“ ‘It’s about us giving them the ability to promote security without having to take the heat for it.  We take the heat,’ said 1987 MIT graduate James Herms.”)

The Crime Club was organized in 2004/05 by Margeaux Randolph ’04, Adaora Asala ’04, and Shavonne Nyoka Hylton ’05 and recognized as an MIT Student Group in April 2005.

“The founders of the MIT Crime Club are dedicated to improving general safety for MIT students, both on and off campus.”  Constitution (2005).

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