Despite tight budgets and tuition hikes, San Diego's public universities are missing millions of dollars, according to a 10News I-Team investigation.
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The I-Team uncovered the losses after requesting itemized lists of missing university and student property from San Diego State University and the University of California, San Diego.
UCSD and SDSU provided pages filled with items that disappeared from campus in the four years it takes some to obtain a bachelor's degree.
The I-Team learned UCSD lost more than $2 million in property since 2007. The lost items included hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of computer equipment, tens of thousands of dollars worth of carts and thousands in cash.
SDSU's lost inventory list was so detailed it included two large rolls of toilet paper and an unknown amount of tampons. However, the school was unable to quantify how much the thousands of items they lost actually cost.
The school claims other items that disappeared, like hundreds of computers, flat screen TVs, a hybrid vehicle and a model airplane, were worthless when they were lost.
"Something needs to be done," security consultant Steve Ososkie said. "Something needs to be addressed and there's got to be a starting point."
Ososkie, who runs corporate risk management for a Fortune 1000 company in San Diego, said while losing hundreds of computers is expensive, losing the personal information on them could be worse.
"If my child was going to that university or I was at that university I'd be very concerned," Ososkie said.
Officials at SDSU and UCSD declined on-camera interviews. SDSU officials would not answer any questions related to the losses, and a UCSD spokeswoman said they "don't have anyone who is an expert in loss prevention to talk about how it's run."
"It might be an embarrassing situation," Ososkie said. "It might possibly be and they might want to avoid it, but it's not going to go away."
"It's something I hadn't thought about too seriously," UCSD senior Alex Ferbrache said. "But I can see how it would be a big problem especially with all of the nice things the university has."
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