Stolen Cellphone at Centennial College in Toronto

 My personal cellphone went missing Wednesday Feb 13 2007 as I was leaving work at Centennial College’s HP campus in Scarborough, Ontario. I teach journalism in one of the classrooms on the third floor. 

I lost it about 6 p.m. 
The next day when I called my cellphone company to say I couldn’t find my telephone, they checked to see if any calls had been made, and sure enough, tons of them, starting at about 6:30 p.m. were on the list of outgoing calls. Dozens of calls every minute to several telephone numbers in and around Toronto.
The cellphone finder/thief simply decided to benefit from my cellphone and call all their friends and chat. 
How do I know all this?  The cellphone company gave me some of the numbers that this person had called, and I called them. I said I was from Centennial College. Said I would like them to tell whoever called them on my stolen cellphone last night, to return it to Security, as I was going to the police about it. All the callers I spoke to knew what I was talking about, knew what the caller in question had done, and yet no one had suggested to this person at the time to DO THE RIGHT THING, and turn the phone in to campus security. Instead, they all had a lot of fun with it. 
One of the other people who answered the numbers this person had called last night, wanted to know if her friend would have to PAY for the calls she’d made. Why, I asked? Because, the caller said, the girl who had found my phone and used it, apparently thought that it would be okay to use my phone since it was AFTER 6 p.m.  Well, guess what? I don’t have free evenings or weekends on my plan.  So you did cost me. And I have no way of finding out who you are to pay me back.
But that’s not the only point.
I do have is personal information stored on that phone, including photos of my family, and other info. I felt extremely violated and my personal space intruded on.
As a professor at Centennial College, I strive to make my classrooms a supportive safe place for students to learn and develop and grow. I guess it’s not a two way street, right? It’s OK that we professors are there for you students, but you, student-who-used-my-phone, didn’t it occur to you to show the same kind of honesty, and consideration back? Not until I OUTED you to your friends, and threatened to call the police, after 24 hours, did you do the honest thing and return the phone to Security. 
  One of your friends told me your name is Christina, that you go to Progress Campus and also take a Gen-Ed course at HP on Wednesday evenings. 
As for me,  I’m buying a big purse with a big ol’ zipper. 
As for you, it might be time that you start learning that honesty pays off in life. It’s called the Golden Rule, young lady. Even if no one has taught it to you before. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. 

2 thoughts on “Stolen Cellphone at Centennial College in Toronto”

  1. Dear Ellin Bessner:
    I’m the editorial coordinator, a website that provides facts, opinions, tools, advice and connections for journalists and for the students, teachers and observers of journalism in Canada. I’m writing to let you know that you or your publication/organization was mentioned in an article posted to the site. You can read the article here:

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