Incident results in no harm, no theft

By CiaraShook

An attempted robbery occurred on Columbia’s campus on Sept. 2 at approximately 8:27 a.m., in the lobby at 218 S. Wabash Ave.

According to Martha Meegan, director of Campus Safety and Security, four men reached into the victim’s backpack and apparently intended to take her belongings before she drove them off. The woman was identified as Bernadette McMahon, associate vice president and chief information officer of Information Technology. She was alone, according to Meegan.

Campus security and police were called to the scene, after which a report was filed with the Chicago Police Department noting a suspicious person present. Capt. Joseph Vaclavik of the CPD reported that when the officers arrived, they determined that nothing had been stolen and therefore no case report was generated.

According to the CPD report, the offenders were identified as four males, all wearing dark clothing. One was wearing a baseball cap.

Though Campus Safety and Security reported that nothing was stolen, campus security is teaming with the property management of the building, Ashwood Corporation, to reconsider safety measures at the building.

The building is not owned by Columbia. The college rents three floors for departments that include Payroll, Information Technology, Human Resources and Creative Services. Because the college shares the building with non-Columbia-related offices, stationing a security guard in the lobby of the building—where the offense was committed—would mean Columbia assumes liability for all who enter and exit.

“Our officers are not law enforcement officers,” Meegan said, “but will supplement on occasion with local law enforcement [officers].”

As of press time, McMahon and Bruce Lord, owner of the Ashwood Corporation, could not be reached for comment.