A historically Black college (HBCU) is taking an interesting approach in responding to a crime that happened on its campus recently.
Simmons College of Kentucky was broken into and burglarized two times last week in thefts that totaled tens of thousands of dollars in stolen electronic equipment, local news outlet and NBC affiliate WAVE reported.
Two different thieves decided to steal $45,000 worth of computers and audio gear from Axton Hall on Simmons’ campus in Louisville. Twenty-nine laptops and pieces of sound equipment were robbed from the school in the middle of the night. The first theft took place on Wednesday and the other was on Sunday.
Officials used surveillance footage to determine the identity of the individuals who took the items from the Kentucky HBCU.
Dr. Frank Smith, Simmons’ Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, spoke about the break-ins and the importance of the laptops and equipment that was stolen.
“Pulling at the doors, snatching it open, and going in. We also see a second individual doing much of the same,” Smith said while describing how the breaking happened. “The laptops were a grant to us so that we could help the community with medical coding.”
While most institutions and organizations would likely try to seek legal action against the individuals who stole their property, Simmons College is looking to do something a little bit different.
The HBCU is known for its work to uplift and help underserved communities. The school just wants to get its stolen property returned without having to force the culprits into any legal trouble. The institution said it would also open a door to the two individuals to take part in the university’s program.
“We would hate to have to be punitive,” Smith said. “Going a different route, it would be good if they could just return the items in the state they were in and enroll in the program.”
Simmons College of Kentucky is not the only HBCU that prides itself in helping the individuals that society turns its back on. There has been no shortage of stories from people who rave about the opportunities that HBCUs have helped provide for them. Opening the door for these individuals who stole the equipment would be consistent with the admirable mission of HBCUs across the country.
At their inception, these institutions were made for people who were ignored and forgotten about. In many ways, our society will often look down upon people who make mistakes without analyzing the reasons that these individuals made those decisions. If Simmons College of Kentucky can offer a different alternative for these individuals who stole their items, that could be the only opportunity they need to turn their life around.
Hopefully, Simmons College of Kentucky will get the opportunity to make good on their proposal.