Cafeteria thefts cause new security

By Karissa Rivera / Staff Writer

New security measures (Jarred Jackson / Staff Photographer)

By Karissa Rivera / Staff Writer

More and more Riverside City College students have been caught stealing from the student cafeteria in variety of different ways.

People go in, get food and walk completely out.

Students put it in their bags, or they will eat right in the cafeteria until they are done and leave without paying.

When a customer steals, RCC police become involved and action is taken by staff.

“We do stop the customer and we ask them to pay at the register,”  said Cheryl Ruzak, RCC’s food services director.

“If we see them walk by, we stop them and ask them to come back in line,” she said.

There have been two arrests so far this semester, one in food services and one in the bookstore.        

New stanchions, or ropes were suggested to make sure the customers go through the cashiers instead.

“We are trying to be proactive and keep a presence on the floor,” Ruzak said.

Four cameras are set up in the office to keep track of students going in and out and to help prevent students from stealing.

Food services is not funded by the school.

“The more food gets stolen the higher the prices have to go and that affects everybody,” Ruzak said.

If students need food to eat, Associated Students of Riverside Community College program have food tickets that are available to help students pay for their meals.

If students sign up for the food tickets, they are given five vouchers for the semester, but is only redeemable through the college cafeteria.

“You can eat and give us that coupon in exchange of payment,” Ruzak said.

The program is offered to 40 students per semester for fall or spring and is hoping to expand in time.

Last week the program did an outreach near the Martin Luther King Jr. Teaching/Learning Center where fliers were passed out to advertise the program.

“We got a large number of students coming in after that,” said Rebecca Faircloth, student services counseling clerk.

“If some one is hungry enough to steal from the cafeteria, hopefully if they know about this program they will stop,” she said.

This is the first semester this program is opened to students.

“I am working with both the heads of departments of the cafeteria and the bookstore to figure out how to get rid of some of that theft,” said Jonathan Flike, Associated Student RCC president. “If you are truly hungry, let the student government feed you.”