Chaotic: The person had broken into the storage locker and made a mess.
Chaotic: The person had broken into the storage locker and made a mess.

Wave of burglaries hits SiO housing

Bikes, shoes and other assets have been stolen from Carl Berner Student Housing in recent years. Even after several years reporting the issue, they are still plagued with burglaries.

Publisert Sist oppdatert

Last week, Kornelia Haddal Sivertsgård’s storage locker was burgled. Pictures taken at the student housing show her belongings scattered on the floor next to other stalls that have been broken into. And it’s not the first time.

No change

Steffen Torsteinsen Aune stated he already reported burglaries in 2015 and demanded action from SiO. He was informed that action was being taken, and was asked not to keep valuables in the storage. In December of the same year, more burglaries happened, so Aune requested camera surveillance.

«Even as I moved in, I saw that the stalls were broken into, so I bought three chains and three padlocks. But [the thieves] go obviously with clippers, as the neighbouring stall door was broken from below,» he said.

He has even experienced being robbed of a bicycle from a locked bicycle shed.

Recently, Aune received a new email from SiO Housing, saying there have been more burglaries in the stalls and that residents are encouraged to keep the doors closed and not let any strangers into the building.

«We yet again see a complete disclaimer of SiO Housing as a landlord. They do not indicate that that they plan to increase security, they put all the responsibility on the residents and we have to sort it out,» Aune said.

Aune says he also feels it’s ridiculous for students to pay quite a lot of rent while SiO fails to ensure the safety of its residents.

He is vexed by SiO's e-mail to not keep valuables in the stores and wonders where else to store things such as expensive suitcases that students cannot fit in their lodgings.

« ‘Be sure to lock the doors and not have valuables there’ but where shall we have it then?» he asked.

Frustrated: Steffen Torsteinsen Aune is a theology student. He believes SiO is shifting the blame.
Frustrated: Steffen Torsteinsen Aune is a theology student. He believes SiO is shifting the blame.

A fast break in

Kornelia Haddal Sivertsgård studies Middle Eastern studies at the University of Oslo and moved into Carl Berner Student Housing in January. She explains there are around 20 locks that have been cut from stalls. It took less than a day of her using the storage before it was broken into. Sivertsgård estimates around 5000 NOK worth of valuables were stolen.

«I had a duffle bag, a bag with lots of IKEA totes, a bag of shoes and a wash bag, wallets, used makeup and other toiletries,» she stated.

Even though she had no real valuables in the stall, it was still upsetting.

Carry out a variety of measures

Gunn Kirsti Løkka, Managing Director of SiO Housing, told Universitas they are working to convert the access systems of all the student residences into electronic systems. In addition to that, work is under way to secure storage booths, and security services are being used.

«We are continuously working to make our student residences, including the dwellings, as safe as possible, so that the risk of burglary and theft is reduced. Nevertheless, we have to find the right balance between security and accessibility,» she said.

Løkka believes it is important that residents report theft and that SiO can review it if it turns out to be on a larger scale. There will be frequent checks in the buildings in the future.

That no action being taken by SiO is labelled as a «full disclaimer,» and absolution of blame. What do you think of such a description?

Løkka restated once more that there are several actions SiO takes to secure the housing buildings, including access control, security supervision and in some cases additional locking points on the premises. In addition, she maintained, residents themselves can also help reduce the risk of burglary by not keeping valuables in the building and by not admitting strangers into the building.

«I would like to get in touch with this resident, so I can hear more about how he or she has experienced the situation and what can be done,» she concluded.

Powered by Labrador CMS