During spring break week, it's really slow. There are a few drifters here and there but for the most part, it's really quiet. A student was working at a computer in the open lab and had really occupied all of the real estate in there spreading out her belongings, plugging in her iPod touch for a charge and making herself comfortable.
She called me over for some help with something and I advised her to go to speak to someone in the department she was trying to access on the web site. She asked me if she could leave her stuff and I told her the same thing I tell everyone that asks me that question, " you could, but we assume no responsibility and I would strongly advise against leaving anything of value unattended."
Ignoring my advice, she set out to the first floor and I went to my desk to proceed with my work. A little while later, the student returns from downstairs, gets to her workstation and totally goes nuts because her iPod touch was missing. She was so frantic that she was irrational at first but acting on emotion; she was very upset (understandably so).
She mentioned she had tracking set up and wanted to get in touch with Apple right away so I let her use my desk phone while I asked the librarian to call campus police to come up to the lab.
Skipping the long, often dramatic middle, there was no immediate resolution. Campus police made a point that the moment she left the iPod it legally is considered abandoned property and can only be reported as "missing", not "stolen" unless there was a witness or security footage proving otherwise (there was neither).
I told the student to contact the local Apple store with the details because if someone does bring it in to be unlocked, if she reports the serial # and is registered, they can withhold the item.
For me, it was sad because it was obviously taken and just feet away from the desk I spend most of my day. There are so many bad messages in this experience.