ISU to Increases Security Across Campus Following Lab Vandalism at Iowa U.

AMES, Iowa (AP) - Two break-ins at University of Iowa labs have led Iowa State University officials to increase security measures at its central-Iowa campus.

The new measures include the use of updated equipment and additional patrols in key research areas, said Jerry Stewart, director of Iowa State's Department of Public Safety. He wouldn't elaborate, citing security concerns.

The increased security at Iowa State is a result of two incidents at the University of Iowa's Seashore Hall.

In the most recent case a few weeks ago, University of Iowa officials said vandals climbed through a first-floor window at Seashore Hall, tore down bulletin boards and stole items including a DVD player and VCR.

In November, vandals struck the psychology offices at the hall and one of its wings, Spence Laboratories, destroying about 40 computers, spilling chemicals and releasing pigeons, rats and mice used in research.

An e-mail claimed the Animal Liberation Front was responsible for the damage, targeting animal research being done in the building.

The FBI was investigating. No arrests have been made.

Chuck Green, director of the University of Iowa's Department of Public Safety, said earlier this month that there appeared to be no connection between the two break-ins.

Back at Iowa State, researchers have been asked to backup their computer files and be more aware of who is in the labs, said Jim Bloedel, vice provost for research.

He said the school has also emphasized not sharing building access cards

Sandy Miller Hays, director of information for the Agricultural Research Service, said no specific changes have been made at the National Centers for Animal Health in Ames since the break-ins.

However, Miller Hays said since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, there have been ongoing upgrades to keep the area secure.