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Theft of Canada Goose Jackets on the Rise

Popular coats are being stolen from unsecured FitRec lockers

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While Canada geese migrate south for the winter, Canada Goose jackets are finding their way out of FitRec this winter—but not on their owners’ backs. The BU Police Department reports that the popular winter coats, which carry a price tag as high as $1,300, are being stolen from unsecured lockers at FitRec. Known for their high-quality stitching, fur-trimmed hoods, and telltale decals, the jackets are designed to keep wearers safe from unforgiving Arctic cold.

Of the 180 cases of larceny reported on campus since September, 18 involved the theft of winter outerwear, 8 of them Canada Goose jackets, the BUPD reports, including 3 the week before last.

On-campus theft of these costly coats isn’t a new phenomenon. BU Today first reported on the theft of the jackets in 2016.

“It begins in October,” says BUPD Lieutenant Dan Healy. “That’s when we see jackets start to disappear.”

More than half of the reported winter jacket thefts this year—11—were stolen from FitRec, where many students leave their valuables unattended on hangers and benches and in unsecured lockers while they work out.

“If you look at our thefts, 99 percent of them are from lockers that are not secured,” says Tim Moore, FitRec executive director.

A banner encourages FitRec members to lock up their belongings

Easy-to-use lockers are available to all FitRec members free of charge. Photo by Jackie Ricciardi

Moore and facilities manager Joe Rouse say there are hundreds of day lockers available free for students. The use of locks for the day is available from the Pro Shop, also without charge. And for anyone unfamiliar with combination locks, FitRec has a video tutorial on how to use them.

For those wanting more permanent storage spaces, locker rentals run from $6.95 to $8.25 a month. If a monthly locker is not available, members can put their name on a wait-list.

BUPD investigates thefts of valuable apparel, but unlike laptops and other electronics, stolen jackets don’t have serial numbers and tracking information, so they are almost impossible to trace. FitRec surveillance cameras are of limited use in identifying suspects too. Cameras aren’t allowed in the locker rooms, where most of the thefts occur.

But FitRec personnel have taken steps to help reduce unattended theft. Last September, cubbies and several coat racks were removed to discourage members from leaving unsecured items, and they were replaced by new lockers with integrated locks, so users can more easily store their belongings. Instructions detailing how to use the locks are printed on these lockers.

Both staff and signage remind students to safely store their valuables.

“There’s really no excuse for anyone coming into the facility, putting their stuff in a locker, and not securing it,” Rouse says.

Geoffrey Line (College of Communication’20) can be reached at gline@bu.edu.

8 Comments

8 Comments on Theft of Canada Goose Jackets on the Rise

  • Olivia on 02.11.2019 at 9:02 am

    “There’s really no excuse for anyone coming into the facility, putting their stuff in a locker, and not securing it,” Rouse says.

    OK but there’s no excuse for people stealing either. don’t victim blame

    • Alexandra on 02.11.2019 at 11:32 am

      Please, don’t co-op a term used to defend victims of sexual violence to apply to people (with resources offered to them at no cost) who chose not to lock up expensive personal belongings. Not only is losing a coat not the same thing as traumatization and perpetration of sexual violence in the slightest, I feel it’s unfair to conflate violence that stems from societal power dynamics and sexism with theft that is perpetrated against people with the resources to buy a Canada Goose (and presumably, a lock of their own) who are ALSO offered free lockers, locks, and constant encouragement from BU to lock up their personal items. Asking someone to lock up their coat with a free lock and locker is not the same as telling survivors of assault to dress differently or behave differently. One is a systemic issue, one is not.

      I definitely do NOT condone theft. It’s not cool to steal someone’s stuff. But please don’t throw around that term lightly, it’s not the same thing. If this happened to you, I’m sorry. But they make resources available, which is more than a lot of people can say (in a gym scenario, or in any other situation where violence is happening).

  • Steven on 02.11.2019 at 9:45 am

    Maybe the thieves do not consider it a theft but rather a redistribution of wealth. A lot of that going around these days.

    • Jon on 02.11.2019 at 11:45 am

      It is a good thing when we are careful not to project our capitalist doctrine onto actual facts. It’s very tricky to start making assumptions about the people taking these jackets. For example, one could easily say that the thefts are from greedy capitalists seeking to make themselves even wealthier and with no regard to how they are affecting others.

      Hence, be careful about projecting political beliefs onto people you don’t know.

      • Steven on 02.11.2019 at 9:14 pm

        Hah you got me there. I bet that’s exactly what happened. I now see the errors of my ways. As a corrective action I registered as a Democrat intending to vote for Elizabeth Warren. Thanks for setting me straight.

  • LarryO on 02.11.2019 at 11:04 am

    Buy a just-as-good-as-Canada-Goose jacket for $200 or less, save yourself $1100 and greatly reduce your chances that your vastly overpriced, unneeded in Boston, status symbol jacket will be stolen in the first place. Plus, you won’t be supporting the killing of geese and coyotes for your fashion statement. Faux fur works just as well as real fur.

    Unless BU offers a semester abroad in the Arctic or Antarctic, Canada Goose jackets are complete overkill for New England weather.

  • Allen on 02.11.2019 at 11:33 am

    It’s hard to feel bad when I see classmates with these jackets getting out of $100k cars.

  • Meagan on 02.11.2019 at 6:39 pm

    If you are not going to take necessary measures to prevent theft, do not complain when it happens to you. OR, if you truly are that careless, purchase a cheaper jacket! Easy solution (: OH, and… you won’t have to support the slaughter of innocent geese and coyotes along the way! So, it’s a win-win!

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