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Old 07-09-2011, 06:46 PM   #1
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Keeping valuables safe in a college dorm room

We went for DS and DN's college orientation and were talking about keeping their valuables safe in their dorm room. The resident life director said that most thefts were crimes of opportunity where students left their dorm rooms unlocked. A few parents asked what the college recommended to keep valuables safe- perhaps even from a roommate. The director said he thought a locking file cabinet was better than one of those locking safe boxes that could easily be carried out in a backpack.

Before we go out and buy a locking file cabinet, what do your students use to keep valuables like jewelry, money, ipods, laptops, even credit cards that they might not want to carry around one a daily basis? Do you think a locking file cabinet sounds like a good idea. my sister in law mentioned that she used a locking trunk in college, but I think a file cabinet would take up less valuable floor space.
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Old 07-09-2011, 06:53 PM   #2
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I use something similar to this. I don't know if this one is heavy, but mine is pretty heavy: 20-30 pounds. I keep things like my birth certificate and social security card in it. When I lived in the dorm, I stored it behind some drawers that were under my bed. It definitely wasn't in an obvious place, and I knew if someone had found it, they definitely wouldn't have wanted to get it out from behind the bed and carry it around with them since it was heavy.

ETA: This is almost the exact same one that I have, but mine is heavier. It won't store a regular sized laptop, so you might want to invest in a laptop lock for that.

Also, I don't think a locking file cabinet is a good idea. I definitely didn't have room for one in my dorm room.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:37 PM   #3
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My kids didn't have any form of a locking box or cabinet and never had any problem.
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:40 PM   #4
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My ds uses a padlocked toolbox (he brings tools for his major to school) which he chained to the bedframe with a bike cable lock. He keeps in there his passport and money and stuff.

I also, on move-in day last year, cut a piece of lumber to fit in the window frame (first floor dorm) so no one could slide the window open enough to hop in and grab stuff-they could open it enough for air. We've lived in some interesting neighborhoods so I know some things The roomate and his folks, from a small town, thought I was nuts
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Old 07-09-2011, 07:49 PM   #5
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When DS was in college (he is now 31) all of the rooms on the entire floor of the dorm were open and nothing ever disappeared. I wasn't happy when I saw that. He also lived in an apartment off campus (1 block away) and since there were 4 of them the apartment was never locked. Fortunately my son had his own room and he kept that locked.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:31 PM   #6
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Our closet doors locked, although I never actually used the lock. Then again, I didn't have a computer, iPod, cell phone, or anything more valuable than homemade cookies lying around in those days.

I guess I just thought all dorms would have locking closets.
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Old 07-09-2011, 09:50 PM   #7
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My son's college suggested a desk top computer instead of a lap top, because desk tops almost never get stolen, and a netbook for taking to class.
Not sure what other valuables you would have, I'd leave anything of value at home.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:30 PM   #8
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My dsd and dss both used lap top locks. Other then that nothing. When they were out of the room the door was locked. the only time they left it open was when they were in the room.
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Old 07-09-2011, 10:40 PM   #9
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I'm in college and the only time I've ever heard of anyone's property being stolen from a dorm room was, like you said in the first post, when people left their doors unlocked. Other than that, I didn't have a lock box or anything similar to that in my dorm room, and I didn't know anyone else who did.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:41 PM   #10
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If you go to amazon and search for dormvault you will find some options. I think the locking file cabinet might work to store things and keep important stuff organized.
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Old 07-09-2011, 11:51 PM   #11
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We bought DS a locking footlocker at Bed Bath & Beyond we also got him a laptop lock.
The footlocker was a great investment, he is now a Sr and has a stand alone house he shares with 2 others. He still uses that footlocker when he is not at home.
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Old 07-10-2011, 09:29 AM   #12
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I had a footlocker from my summer camp days, and that was handy -- it was sturdy enough to use as a seat or a coffee table. However, it was overly large for its purpose, so I ended up locking my sweaters as well as my valuables.

You can get lock boxes with a cord attached. The cord threads through the student's bedframe or desk legs, which prevents the box from being toted away.

Also, I'd suggest leaving important papers like birth certificates, social security cards, or passports at home. You're unlikely to need those items on the spur of the moment, and they're more secure at home. If you're starting a new job, of course, you may need those items briefly, but you can take them back home on your next trip.
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:29 AM   #13
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When I went I got a locking foot locker. After the first semester, I quit using it. Honestly, as a poor college student I did not have much worth stealing. I honestly can't remember there being any items stolen from rooms during my stay at the dorms. Now, personal vehicles were another story.

I would focus on securing the room (making sure windows can't be opened from outside, stressing importance of locking the door when you leave, etc.)
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:05 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by bballmom56 View Post
My kids didn't have any form of a locking box or cabinet and never had any problem.
Same here, but in anycase, the dorm supplied dresser had one drawer that locked with a key.
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Old 07-10-2011, 11:30 AM   #15
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Most dorm crime is crime of opportunity, so even if they have the fanciest safe it has to be used. Is your college student going to lock up iPods and laptops evrytime they go down the hall to use the bathroom or visit a friend down the hall. Most people would lock up on weekends away, but in reality there is always a bevy of random doors open/unlocked at anytime of the day with no one immediately in the room.
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