Cookie dough, Grandma’s homemade cookies and cookie dough ice cream: these are a few of the Balyo Bandit’s favorite things.
No food is safe in Balyo Hall’s fridges. String cheese, puppy chow, Chinese leftovers, a half-eaten sandwich, and “my sense of security” are just a few of the items reported missing on lists posted on the dorm’s fridge doors.
“Basically, don’t buy ice cream because you will not be the one eating it,” RA Jill Hammack now warns her Balyo residents.
Not all residents have been affected by this thievery. Sophomore Hillary Roeder, for example, has “not personally lost anything.” However, all residents are aware of the problem and frustrated by it.
Resident Assistant Julie Stroup said, “The girls in my hall have been super irked,” and it is “a constant topic of conversation in RA meetings,” she said.
Stroup’s traumatic encounter with the Balyo Bandit: “I purchased some chocolate chip cookie dough because I knew the week ahead would be difficult. When I opened the fridge door, the coolness of the freezer hit my face. My heart matched its temperature. My ice cream was obliterated.”
Stroup explained that the “bandit” has a habit of leveling out the top layer of ice cream to cover up their tracks. “They think that you won’t notice,” she said. “But we’re RA’s; we were trained for this.”
Stroup and Hammack are determined to put their “training” to use to catch a thief.
“My grandpa was in the FBI,” Hammack said, “so I have the upper hand. Maybe I’ll have to call him out here to Balyo.”
As drastic and fantastic as this idea may be, the two did discuss the possibility of surveillance in the dorm.
Stroup has been practicing some surveillance of her own: “Sometimes at night I sneak into the lobby to try to catch someone.” So far, no luck.
Resident Director Holly Schilperoort said, “We have no idea who the person or persons may be who are stealing food in our building.”
According to other RD’s, food theft is not a rampant problem.
Aagard RD Betsey Jaskilka said her dorm has not had any problems with food theft.
Jennifer Ellison, RD of Prewitt Hall, said that food thievery has happened in PVG. “My guess is that most often people ‘borrow’ their friends’ food without asking or telling them,” she said. “If five people borrow from the same friend it adds up (or subtracts) quickly.”
Ellison said no one’s ever been caught stealing food in PVG, but, if that happened the thief would be disciplined and required to replace the stolen food.
Hammack has her own opinions on the Balyo Bandit: “I think it’s either one culprit or it’s, like, a bandwagon everyone is jumping on.”
Stroup added, “I don’t think people realize how important it is to feel safe in our dorms. If our cookie dough isn’t safe, are our secrets?”