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Sunday, April 21, 2024

UW Police arrest man in SERF thievery

Safety concerns at the SERF have heightened after police arrested a man for stealing a wallet at the facility Thursday evening.  


Eighteen-year-old non-student Christofer Costello accessed the facility using a guest pass and, after his arrest, admitted to stealing several wallets at the SERF, according to a statement by university police. 


The statement said the SERF had been facing an increase in reported thefts of unattended personal items, which stresses that security at the SERF is still an ongoing issue. 


SERF ID checker, office clerk, and UW-Madison sophomore Alexandra Wehrley, said the facility has noticed an increase in the amount of e-mails they have been receiving concerning security.  


In an attempt to improve security, Wehrley said the SERF has tightened the policy on permitting people into the building and has posted more signs to remind people to secure their belongings.  


SERF office clerk and UW-Madison freshman Dan Finn said the SERF has been trying to improve their guest pass policy.  


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Whereas the old policy allowed guests entrance into the facility without directly knowing a UW-Madison student and without showing a form of ID, the new policy forces UW-Madison students to show their guests' photo IDs, Finn said.  


According to Finn, more signs have also been posted reminding gym users of thefts and every theft reported to the SERF has been documented. 


""I haven't noticed locks being sold more, but I do notice people playing basketball tend to move their stuff to the court they're playing on now,"" Finn said. 


UW-Madison senior Dianne Hammond said she worries about keeping her belongings in the locker room and usually takes her belongings with her upstairs. 


""Two years ago I had some money stolen out of my wallet which I had left downstairs, and so ever since then I just take my stuff with me,"" Hammond said.  


Hammond said she has noticed the increase in signs, but doesn't think there is much the SERF can do to stop theft from occurring.

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