Thefts on the rise

Ferris DPS releases annual security and fire safety report

Larceny complaints have jumped 65 percent, according to Ferris’ annual security and fire safety report, which organized the 547 criminal offenses and 733 non-criminal offenses reported in 2012.

The report, released by Ferris’ Department of Public Safety on Sept. ??, details overall statistics for reported crimes in 2012. Under the Clery Act, which is a federal law mandating that all institutions participating in federal financial aid programs disclose crime information, the university is required to report annual crime statistics to students and employees.

“I think it’s really important for students and parents to have access to this information,” said Ferris DPS Chief Bruce Borkovich, who was appointed in May. “Nothing is being hidden, and nothing is being softened. You can compare this to other schools. To Ferris’ advantage, the statistics show how safe this university and community are.”

Larceny complaints numbered 116 in 2012 compared to 75 complaints in 2011. A larceny complaint is defined as…, according to Julie Courtney, DPS record specialist and Clery reporter.

Borkovich attributed the increase in larceny complaints to an increase in valuable electronic devices students are bringing to school, including laptops, tablets, smartphones and music devices.

In order to protect themselves against theft, Borkovich advised students to lock their cars and residence hall rooms as well as to keep valuable items out of sight.

“That will stop a lot of thefts,” he said. “You don’t want to be an easy target.”

To combat the increasing number of larcenies, DPS will be hosting a conference for campus investigators sometime this year, Borkovich said. An expert on electronics thefts is expected to present.

An overwhelming amount of the crimes were alcohol and drug violations. Liquor law violations are composed of open intoxicant and minor in possession citations.

In 2012, there were 85 liquor violations, which were down from 92 cases in 2011. Controlled substance violations increased from 90 in 2011 to 111 reports in 2012.

“Drug crimes have continued, and I think a large part of that is due to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act,” Borkovich said.

Since the law was passed, Brokovich, who served as an assistant team leader with the BAYNET narcotics team in Mount Pleasant prior to arriving at Ferris, said he has observed a significant increase in high-grade marijuana being distributed.

“We’ve transitioned from what used to be called ‘brick weed,’ which is typically marijuana directly from Mexico, that ranged from about one to five percent in THC content,” he said. “Now, we’re seeing very high-grade, very potent homegrown marijuana that is 15 to 25 percent THC.”

Another area DPS is concentrating on, according to Borkovich, is criminal sexual assault. In 2012, there were four reports of sexual assault compared to eight cases in 2011. However, Borkovich noted that sex-related crimes are often underreported.

Criminal sexual assault is defined as…according to Courtney.

DPS is working with residence halls and other organizations on campus to educate students on acquaintance rape.

“Many date rapes could be prevented if people were just aware and protective of one another,” Borkovich said.

The entire report has been analyzed by DPS and is available online at