More than a dozen Xbox games, with a total estimated value of £500, have disappeared from Wadham College JCR in a recent spate of thefts.
The latest incident, involving the theft of FIFA 14 and Grand Theft Auto V, is said to have occurred on the evening of Wednesday 6 November between 7pm and 11pm.
This has prompted an investigation by Wadham’s security staff and student union. SU technical officer Sam Greenhalgh issued a circular to the student body, offering an amnesty on returns of the stolen goods, but so far none have been forthcoming.
JCR president Anya Metzer described college members’ reaction as one of “annoyance and disappointment”.
Although confident in the integrity of her fellow students, Metzer said it would be “naïve” to dismiss the possibility of a culprit from within.
“The JCR is accessible only with a Wadham Bod card, though we are considering the possibility that external people have stolen the games.
“It is hoped that if they have been taken by a student then offering a chance to return them without repercussions would accelerate their return.”
Greenhalgh has told Cherwell that college members reported four people acting “suspiciously” and “out of place” near the common room on Wednesday evening. No one recognised the interlopers.
Witnesses later spotted the individuals playing one of the games before being escorted from the JCR.
While external suspects remain unconfirmed, Greenhalgh suggested, “It is possible that they are members of the general public and gained access to our JCR through tailgating or a propped-open door.
“We are investigating all avenues of inquiry,” he asserted. “I have taken appropriate steps in cooperation with the lodge to retrieve CCTV footage from the time, and shall notify members of the SU to be more vigilant.”
However, he expressed pessimism about retrieving the items, and said it is “unlikely” they had been “borrowed”.
The replacement of the most recent thefts will cost Wadham’s student body at least £90, and has disrupted the college’s FIFA tournament, organized by sports officer Jack Firth.
He said, “The football team use FIFA as their main training tool and their performances have since slumped, including a 2-0 defeat by Worcester today. However the tournament will continue on older formats of FIFA.”
One irate third year issued a stark warning to the thieves: “I don’t know who you are. But I have a very particular set of skills… I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”