Theft continues at El Camino Bookstore

The El Camino Bookstore deals with theft from time to time, the assistant director said.

Andrew Nasatir, assistant director of the bookstore, said most theft usually occurs, “at the beginning of the semester and sometimes during finals.”

Nasatir did not think the amount of theft that occurs in the bookstore was excessive.

“We experience theft in what I would call the normal range,” Nasatir said. “It does occur but not to any extreme.”

In general, the items that are stolen are of relatively low value.

“The items that are stolen the most frequently are usually pens,” Nasatir said, “We know because we find little cartons opened up around the store.”

Sgt. Dal Toruno, who has worked at the El Camino Police Department for 23 years, said he once busted a male who had stolen six textbooks in his backpack which were worth easily $300 each.

The punishment for theft depends on the scale of the theft. The aforementioned male, who would have had approximately $1,800 worth of bookstore goods in his backpack, would have experienced a more extreme punishment than a student stealing a carton of pens.

The courts are ultimately up to decide the punishment for stealing from the bookstore. The courts will look at students’ previous crime records to decide how to move forward, Toruno said.

The consequences can range from fines to probation and community service hours, depending on the severity of the court ruling and the value of stolen bookstore goods.

Stealing from the bookstore can also affect a student’s academic standing.

When a student steals, they have broken the El Camino Code of Conduct.

One consequence of stealing from the bookstore could be academic probation.

“We have a lot of students, especially in the beginning of the semester. We hope that just by our presence that would deter theft,” Nasatir said.

Toruno said there are 11 security cameras inside the bookstore, not including the security cameras located outside the bookstore premises.

“We do catch students. It’s usually not for supplies, it’s usually for books,” Nasatir said. “For the most part we want this to be an inviting place and we understand that there’s going to be a small amount of theft.”

Despite the fact that petty theft is common in the bookstore, only one formal arrest has occurred for stealing from the Bookstore since 2013, Toruno said.

Nasatir said that Karma will come to anyone who steals.