Department of Public Safety Goes Global

Office of the Executive Vice President
November 15, 2007

Department of Public Safety Goes Global
CU Graduate Student's Stolen Laptop Recovered in Syria
You already know that Columbia's Department of Public Safety protects the University community in upper Manhattan, but did you know that we can keep your property safe around the world?

In early November, a former Columbia graduate student informed Public Safety that his laptop was stolen in Syria. While at Columbia, the student had prudently joined two of Public Safety's free crime prevention programs, Operation ID, which provides engraving and registration of property with the NYPD and CU and PC PhoneHome, which uses software to help recover stolen or lost laptops.

Public Safety contacted the Brigadoon Security Group, the PC PhoneHome vendor, who was able to identify the exact location of the stolen laptop - in this case a computer pawn shop in Syria. The Syrian Police Department responded immediately and recovered the laptop, which was easily identified as the student's through the Operation ID program.

"This is a great example of how taking proper precautions with your property can prevent crime anywhere," said Jim McShane, Associate Vice President of Public Safety. "Special thanks go to CUIT and Public Safety Sergeant Anthony Mendez, who initially alerted the PC PhoneHome program."

Both Operation ID & PC PhoneHome programs are FREE! For more information please call Columbia University Crime Prevention at 212-854-8513.