CONNOR BERNSTEIN/THE HOYA Security cameras at Hoya Snaxa and Vital Vittles have helped alleviate theft problems at Corp locations.
CONNOR BERNSTEIN/THE HOYA Security cameras at Hoya Snaxa and Vital Vittles have helped alleviate theft problems at Corp locations.

Increased store security and employee vigilance have helped prevent theft from Students of Georgetown, Inc. retail locations since late January, according to Chief Operating Officer and Vice President Stephanie Wolfram (MSB ’13).

Last academic year, more than $6,000 in cigarettes was stolen from Vital Vittles over the course of five months in three separate thefts on Sept. 1, 2011, Dec. 6, 2011 and Jan. 23, 2012. In addition, $200 in cash was taken from the store’s office on Dec. 1, 2011.

“We have not had any issues [with theft] this year so far,” Wolfram said. “There have not been any big thefts that we know of.”

Wolfram attributed the decrease to The Corp’s recently installed preemptive measures.

“Last year, we had some issues with theft. They were [committed by] students or people outside of the community,” Wolfram said. “So once that happened, we took a lot of security measures.”

The Corp installed 24-hour security cameras in Hoya Snaxa, Vital Vittles and their offices, hallways and storage rooms. Safe combinations and locks were also changed.

“[Our combinations] probably hadn’t been changed in a while,” Wolfram said. “So we wanted to make sure that we fixed those.”

According to Katherine Bruce (NHS ’13), director of Hoya Snaxa, raising employee awareness has been among The Corp’s major initiatives to reduce thefts at its locations.

“One of the basic things has just been awareness of theft as an issue,” she said. “There have definitely been measures taken to mitigate that. … Both technical measures, like the cameras, as well as just educating employees.”

In addition, Corp management modified daily employee tasks to ensure extra security.

“We went above and beyond to make sure that all of our locations are secure at all times,” Wolfram said. “Our employees have been doing a really good job of keeping up with the new measures that we’ve put in place to keep security tighter.”

According to Wolfram, one such modification is that Corp employees count money in cash registers more frequently than in the past.

“It’s just so we can keep track and know that there are not thefts occurring,” Wolfram said. “But in general, our employees have just been keeping vigilant. If they see a suspicious person lurking around our back hallways that isn’t with FedEx or facilities and really shouldn’t be there, they’ll let us know right away.”

In addition, The Corp has been working with the Department of Public Safety to prevent thefts.

“We have a really good relationship with DPS now because they helped us out a lot last year with our theft problem,” Wolfram said. “So they will alert us if we need to look out for a suspicious person or if there has been a theft in another part of campus so we can know to be extra vigilant.”

Wolfram also stressed that despite extra emphasis on security, employee safety is The Corp’s foremost priority.

“We always tell our employees to never put themselves in harm’s way,” Wolfram said. “Our employees are instructed to call me or DPS in case of an incident.”

Wolfram added that strong communication about the importance of safety from The Corp’s upper management has contributed to the security of the storefronts.

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