Thefts startle Viking Room patrons

Lauren Mimms

Money was stolen from at least two faculty members in the Viking Room Friday, Jan. 23. Security was called and a report filed, but the perpetrator was not found.
Faculty Garth Bond, David McGlynn and their wives were spending an ordinary evening socializing in the Viking Room. Bond’s wife, Julie, put her purse at a booth, and then they all went to the bar.
“It was mostly professors and some students, but no one that put me on guard,” Bond said. McGlynn agreed, saying, “the night went along fine, and nothing seemed out of place.”
When they were leaving, Julie picked up her bag from the booth and noticed that $70 was gone. McGlynn’s wife, Katherine, also noticed $15 missing from her wallet. McGlynn later heard that Shannon O’Leary, a physics fellow, found her wallet on the stairs outside the VR.
Security came to investigate and questioned the bartenders, but nothing was discovered. Whoever it was “seemed to be a systematic person looking for opportunities,” Bond said, but at this point finding the culprit is not realistic.
One of the managers of the Viking Room, Rebecca Shorr, said that theft is an uncommon occurrence, but instances of theft have taken place before on other parts of campus. Such thefts have occurred in the Conservatory and outside of Lucinda’s, resulting in coat racks being put inside the dining hall.
Bond said, “There have been reports of rifling through bags around campus, but I’ve never heard anything about the VR.” It seems to be an isolated incident.
Lawrence is known for its honor code and high moral standards, so it is surprising that this would happen on campus, especially at the VR. McGlynn said, “The VR is a place for us to gather together in safety, and it’s therefore disappointing that a member of the LU community would steal from another member of the community. It erodes the trust we enjoy among one another.”
Bond agreed, saying, “My assumption that you can leave things around campus is much less confident than it was before.”
Shorr, who was not present at the time of the incident, advises all Viking Room patrons to keep their belongings with them at all times and not leave them unattended while in the bar.
All of the parties affected by the theft seemed to agree that the Viking Room, along with every area on campus, should be a place that we can enjoy without feeling threatened. McGlynn said, “whoever is responsible should be ashamed.

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