Dorms are a new home, and many incoming freshman feel safe there. No one would ever steal your stuff… right?

Think again. This is the exact attitude that campus thieves prey on. A dorm-dwelling student’s worst enemy is an “it won’t happen to me” attitude. Most colleges make student security a top priority. However, students have to do their part, too.

After being a resident assistant for the past year, I can say I’ve seen it all. Students sharing keys, leaving doors open when gone for long periods of time, leaving valuables in open areas… the list goes on. Young people tend to be very trusting, and it works against them.

What can you do?

Here are six tips to reduce the risk of dorm theft.

  • Close that door. The “open door policy” is a great way to meet new friends. But the door shouldn’t be open when you’re not around. Even a quick walk to the bathroom leaves plenty of time for a thief to take what they can.
  • Lock it up. Invest in a safe to safeguard important things. There are so many different safes, including one for your laptop, tablet, money, small valuable items… basically anything. Learn more about these types of products at dorm supplies sites such as
  • Keep valuables out of plain sight. You’d be surprised how many students keep jewelry or money sitting out on their desk with the door wide open. Always keep anything of value out of sight and under lock and key.
  • Be aware. If you notice someone or something strange in your dorm, report it immediately. It’s quite easy for a strange person to gain access to a dorm, which is why everyone needs to be on the lookout.
  • Keep your keys to yourself. Don’t give your key, ID card or password to anyone. If someone needs to get into your room, ask them to wait until you are able to go with them. Anyone is capable of a crime, even your so-called friend.
  • Talk to an ERIE Agent. Most students who are bringing valuable belongings to college are able to have them insured under a parents’ policy. Contact an ERIE Agent to look into this possibility.

In the final post, learn what to do if you suspect roommate theft.