MIT Police received reports of 42 incidents this summer. Two were serious:
• Fri Jul 20, 3:17am, Mass Ave at Memorial Drive. A motor vehicle hit a cyclist.
• Sun Jul 29, [time unknown], Institute for Data, Systems, and Society [E18-407?]. Someone (1) broke into a locked office, (2) pried open a file cabinet, (3) removed a key, (4) used it to open a secured room inside the office, and then (5) entered that room and took four laptops.
A total of 13 laptops and 23 bikes were stolen during the twelve-week term.
Crimestoppers tips from "Bicycle Theft Prevention Workshop," MIT Events Calendar, October 2010:
Which dorm won the club's Sparky the Fire Dog Award for Not Setting Off as Many Fire Alarms as Last Year?
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.
Club 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."
Findings: The label instructions are incomprehensible to anyone who's over the limit.
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.
September 2011. City Council passes a resolution thanking the Campus Crimestoppers for making the campus and city a "safer and more welcoming environment for students."
The Campus Crimestoppers have been trying to find a personal-safety device that actually works. We've determined that chemical sprays can 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 three venture principals' 2007 Venture Information Form.
Entrepreneurship Center judges selected our 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 $5.4 million by year 4.
Koullias ultimately decided to start up her own fashion-tech brand instead. But someday some other intrepid Sloan student may try taking this project idea all the way to beta testing... More at the Minutes of the club’s IAP 2011 group meetings.
Stolen-property data for MIT, Harvard, and BU police jurisdictions, 2006–2014.
April 2010. Of the twelve largest universities in Massachusetts, MIT reports the highest theft rate.
University | Theft rate = (net value of property stolen) ÷ (10,000 degree-seeking students enrolled) | Stolen-property recovery rate
|Boston Univ.||$ 97,000||5.0%|
Data source: "Uniform Crime Reporting Record Card," 2008 & 2009, 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!
In 2009 the club sent two P.I.s to investigate a murder scene at Harvard! See the credits for the "Brittany Smith and Jabrai Copney" episode of Snapped: Killer Couples, on the Oxygen network →
"A Harvard student and a chart-topping music producer's secret criminal life is exposed when a botched drug deal leads to murder…"
For the authoritative version of that caper, see 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.
For the pulp version, see 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 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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