My experience with thievery at RSOP

Illustration by: Will Madison

Illustration by: Will Madison

As fall draws to an end and cooler temperatures settle in, once familiar sights and sounds begin to return for winter. The buckles on my goalie pads clink with each step from the parking lot to the locker room. The cutting of skates tears through the ice and echos around the rink.

The puck drops with a slap against the ice. Hockey season is up and running again.

However, my return to the ice will be remembered for a much more decisive reason than the glove save I swear was the best one of my life, or the couple of goals I let in.

While out on the ice an individual had slipped into the changing room that my gear had occupied. I returned to find my wallet open on the floor, cash missing and no one to blame but myself.

Not even the stink of a hockey bag can keep thieves away from your valuables

Not even the stink of a hockey bag can keep thieves away from your valuables

With financial uncertainty suddenly flowing into my thoughts, friends begin to pat my back and tell me it’ll be alright. I rightfully believe them, and just like that the consequence seems final.

A couple nights go by with endless searches of my car and room, and the only thing I manage to find is a warning waiting to be spread.

If you do not have your valuables under lock and key at RSOP, do not expect to get them back. I learned the hard way that even in a student-use facility, people will take your belongings.

Helping me accredit the warning is Nikki Olson, RSOP Facility Operations Director. Olson expressed surprise and shock when I told her about the theft I experienced.

She recalled another incident where 40 dollars was reported missing from an unsecured bag, about two weeks ago.

“Common areas create opportunity for thieves,” Olson said. “When students are toting around their life in their backpacks/bags, incidents can happen.”

Thievery is a problem Olson can barely keep track of, partly because she is uninformed from the start.

“Whatever doesn’t get reported, we don’t hear about,” Olson said, “The men’s locker room is most common.”

Considering the numbers, reported theft is surprisingly uncommon throughout RSOP. According to Olson, it is even less common to find thieves tampering with locks or lockers.

The locker room where my wallet was gone through and cleaned

The locker room where my wallet was gone through and cleaned

“We usually have one or two incidents a year, and about a thousand people come in to RSOP a day during the school months,” Olson said. “We have never had incidents where people are cutting locks in the locker room.”

Even though a proven majority of students have the decency, being the one to have something taken damages the trust I learned to give to my fellow students.

At the end of the day others saw me walking out of the rink as just another hockey player, but the lessons learned from that night will stick with me for a long time.

UMD students and RSOP users, locking up your valuables is well worth the effort. Don’t end up like me with your wallet on the floor and peace of mind shattered.


VoicesConnor Shea