Only one laptop has been stolen on campus so far this year, but for Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols, that's one too many.

Nichols and his department have teamed up with Information Technology (IT) this semester to install anti-theft security plates on student, faculty, and staff laptops free of charge.

The bar-coded plates, which were purchased in bulk from the company Security Tracking of Office Property (STOP), warn potential criminals that the laptop they hope to steal is registered in an international database. If they try to remove the plate from the computer, an indelible "stolen property" tattoo becomes adhered to the laptop, making the property virtually worthless for resale.

"Most computers are stolen for street resale. They're not stolen for personal use," said Nichols. "If it is stolen, it's going to be discarded and if it's found, you get your computer back."

Although Security began installing the security plates on student's computers last year for $10?a price significantly less than the $25.50 price if students were to buy them individually?the department has decided to offer them for free this year in an effort to increase interest.

"We got a really good price because we got them in bulk from the company," Nichols said. "We've already paid for them?why not give them to students?"

Students, faculty, and staff interested in having Security install an anti-theft plate should bring their computers to the Office of Safety and Security during office hours or look for IT and Security tables set up around campus in upcoming weeks.