Keep your friends close and your cell phones closer

A week of opportunistic thefts in Santa Monica College's library, gym, math complex, and cafeteria, left some on campus without cell phones.

An iPhone was left on a metal ledge in the stall of a women's bathroom in the Humanities and Social Sciences Building last Monday morning. Upon returning to search for it, the victim found it missing.

Also on Monday, within a few hours of the first crime, three more cases of stolen Apple products occurred on campus. An iPhone was left on the tabletop and was taken while the victim went to the restroom.

A backpack was stolen in the gym when the owner set it aside to play basketball. The backpack was later recovered but was, however, missing an iPhone.

An iPad was stolen after being left in a classroom at the Math Complex in a desk basket, and was later missing after the victim returned from the cafeteria.

An Android device was left unattended in a library men’s restroom on Wednesday, and was not found when the victim returned to search for it. On the same day, an Eat Street employee had her iPhone stolen when she was distracted. Security cameras captured the suspect in action, and campus police later located and took the suspect into custody.

Sgt. Romano recommended recording product serial numbers, and registering personal belongings with companies such as This way, police can submit stolen items to the National Crime Information Center's automated property system so that they can be returned easily, if recovered.

Anyone who sees any suspicious behavior or crime is urged to call the SMCPD immediately at (310) 434-4300.