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Crime Investigations

Public Safety employs a full time Investigations Unit (x6603) that insures that follow-up investigations are conducted as necessary.

The Unit is available to respond to crime scenes 24 hours per day.

The Investigations Unit assists in analyzing crime reports, provides victim services, and confers regularly with local, county, and state law enforcement agencies.

Public Safety also monitors and records criminal activity involving Rensselaer organizations (such as fraternities and sororities) that fall within its jurisdiction.

See also: Public Safety Incident Reports

The Department of Public Safety wants to assist you in every way possible.

The following information may be of assistance in property recovery or the solution of your case:

  • The criminal incident report filed will be initially investigated by an officer and then possibly forwarded to the Investigations Unit for further processing. Normally, for such an investigation to be successful, our officers require some or all of the following elements: evidence, witnesses, suspects, serial numbers or identifying property markings, etc.

  • Serial numbers or identifying markings are important for the recovery of stolen property. Stolen items with such identification are often recovered through pawn shops, police arrests or inquiry through the National Crime Information Computer. If you are not certain of the serial number, information can often be found via maintenance agreements, packing boxes, from the manufacturer or seller, warranty cards, purchase agreements or from property registration forms completed prior to the incident.

  • Often the victim of a crime may obtain or encounter information that might be helpful to an investigation after the crime has been reported. Such information may include new witnesses, values of property stolen, additional victims, etc. Moreover, a frequent problem in theft cases involves the victim not reporting stolen property he or she may have recovered at some later date. Such oversights may create problems if the victim later transfers the property's ownership and the item is discovered by police. If you have additional information, please call or contact the officer, or the investigator who processed the initial report.

  • Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute does not carry insurance for the theft of personal property. If personal property has been stolen, we suggest you contact your insurance agent for possible coverage via homeowner's or automobile policies. We will provide a copy of the Incident Report to your insurance company upon their written request. You may also be eligible for an income tax deduction due to the loss of personal property.

  • Public Safety often coordinates its criminal investigation with other law enforcement agencies. If you have reported an offense that took place on campus, you are not required to report it again to an outside law enforcement agency.

  • If our investigation is successful and an offender is identified and/or property recovered, we will need your continued cooperation. You may be required to identify the property or suspect. It may be necessary to impound property (for reasons of chain of evidence) until after a criminal prosecution or investigation is completed. If the offense is a misdemeanor or felony, where a perpetrator has been identified, you may be required to swear out an arrest warrant. Our Department will assist you in the warrant process and through every step of the criminal justice system.

The Department of Public Safety will do everything within our purview to solve crimes and apprehend the offender. We are equally concerned that this offense does happen again.


  • Your report is an official document.
  • Always refer to your report numbers.
  • Once Public Safety is notified, reporting an on-campus crime to outside law enforcement agencies is optional.
  • Rensselaer does not carry property insurance to protect individual personal property. Make prior arrangements with your homeowner's insurance.
  • A copy of your report may be obtained in person from the investigations unit at 276-6603.
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