The Isla Vista Beachfront at sunset is tantalizing, but do not be fooled! When the sun goes down, the trouble begins. When your mother said “nothing good happens after 12 A.M.” she was right! Have you ever had anything stolen from you? Better yet, do you know anyone who has ever had something stolen from them? You most likely answered yes to one of these questions. IV is number one in acts of property crime in the entire nation according to 2011 FBI statistics.  For example, bicycle theft in I.V. and on campus is considered an ‘epidemic.’ Bikes are known to be stolen, even when locked up, by removing the wheel or cutting the lock that holds them.

In case you did not know, Theft is the illegal taking of another person’s property without that person’s permission or consent. It can also be referred to for some crimes against property, such as burglary, embezzlement, larceny, looting, robbery, shoplifting and fraud.

The reason theft is so widespread in Isla Vista is the perpetuating nature of loosing something and wanting to replace it cheaply and easily. When someone has their bike stolen they will often consider stealing someone else’s to justify their loss. Many times they will carry this plan out and commit the crime taking revenge and replacing their lost item. They may even get away with it!!! This mentality must change if people want to live together in a community and feel safe. It is pivotal to understand that theft is illegal, morally inept, and an utter defilement of ones sense of liberty and privacy. These are two values that we all cherish, but sadly and hypocritically, we all don’t respect these values when it comes to other people and their lawful right to them.

That’s what it is like on the other side of things. We have been affected by both sides of the epidemic that is theft. We have stolen and been stolen from and we got caught for stealing. With our teenager mentality, we assumed this could never happen to us, but now we are facing the consequences. Fortunately for us, and many other students like us who make mistakes in college, there is an alternative to the criminal justice system; the restorative justice circle was the best alternative. We were able to truly comprehend the impacts that our impulsive actions had on the individuals involved. To come face to face with those who you violate is an eye opening experience to say the very least. It has given us the tools we need to mature and truly learn from our mistakes as we progress through life. To repair someone’s sense of security once they have been violated is nearly impossible. But we are writing this article because we feel the dire need to express our indignations! Do not steal. It’s wrong. It’s illegal. You will get caught eventually.  It has happened to us, so learn from our mistakes.

To steal is unacceptable, foolish and downright stupid. This is why we want to formally apologize to one of the most kind, hardworking and understanding students in this university. We are sincerely apologetic for not only our actions, but also our utter disregard for your privacy. The outcome of someone’s life is going to depend solely on his or her own sense of individuality and responsibility. Of course, we all wish to achieve success and be happy, but anything can happen in life to stray one from that course. It is safe to say that surviving in this world is not at all easy, and the choices we make as kids can affect us all of our lives. Do not make irrational and impulsive decisions that could haunt you for the rest of your life. We are all adults now. The ability to make your own decisions is definitely easier said than done, considering we are college students in this generation. Take responsibility and stand up for what is right. Do not feel that stealing is appropriate, especially if you have been stolen from in the past. If you find lost items, turn them in; you will make someone’s day. Do not make poor decisions, thinking your actions are harmless and will never come back to bite you. Even a small mistake can cause immense anguish for you and many other people who could be involved. There are truly no positive impacts from stealing. Stop the perpetuating cycle of theft in this community and do what is right. Be a good, honest person.