Missing flatbed truck causes concern for Sharples

In the last weekend of September, Sharples Dining Hall experienced a break-in and the theft of a flatbed delivery cart staff used to process deliveries to the Dining Hall. Both the break-in and theft come after a number of similar incidents last year at the dining hall, including one in which a display put up for Hanukkah was vandalized, and raise questions about the security of the college’s only dining hall.

According to Public Safety, the first of the two break-ins occurred when several students broke through a screen and entered Sharples at night. They wandered around the building for a while and caused no damage. A contract employee eventually confronted the students, and they left without incident. Public Safety was contacted, and  an internal college report was filed. In an unrelated incident, the theft of the flatbed delivery cart also occurred over the same weekend. Director of Public Safety Michael Hill explained that, when burglaries and thefts happen like this, the police are notified.

“Typically, if there is a burglary on campus, we notify the police, particularly if there is evidence that the responsible parties intentionally broke into the space with the intent to steal or if there is insufficient evidence to determine motive and the building was broken into.”

Hill explained that, while Public Safety is always trying to improve security for members of the college community and for college buildings, no special effort was being made to increase security for Sharples, even in light of the recent incidents. Hill said Public Safety is also working to try to recover the cart, but it has had no luck so far.

Director of Dining Services Linda McDougall explained that the stolen flatbed cart is a critical part of staff jobs when workers are unloading supplies from deliveries. This is why the campus-wide email promising “no questions asked” if the flatbed cart was returned was sent out.

“The flatbed truck is used to move delivered products from the pallet to their proper storage location within Sharples.  The trucks are generally used by our receivers, but are used throughout the day by many staff to move products around the kitchen. It is causing a hardship for the receiver who no longer has this most important ‘tool’ to do his job.”

McDougall said that there was no leads in the investigation of who took the flatbed truck although it appears nothing else had been taken from Sharples. McDougall said that a new flatbed truck had been ordered, but it would not arrive for some time. The fate of the flatbed truck will perhaps remain unknown.

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