Bikes missing across campus
By Charlie Williamson, Staff Writer
Last Monday, the director of Gettysburg College’s Department of Public Safety (DPS), Bill Lafferty, sent out an email informing the campus community that six bikes were stolen last semester.
In the email, Lafferty said of the six bikes, two have been recovered, and three were not locked at the time they were taken.
Former 12 year police officer and current Associative Director of DPS, Ivan Taylor, thought that most of the stolen bikes are from people on campus who find an unlocked bike and then ride from one destination to the next.
“People have to lock their bike,” Taylor said. “Students here find an unlocked bike and then joyride it from location to location and it gets lost.” “But what really startles me is that some of the bikes taken were cut with a lock cutter.” Taylor claimed that two of the stolen bikes were nice $150 dollar 21-speed bikes, one of which was cut from a bike rack outside Ice House and another outside Constitution.
Taylor said that DPS and Gettysburg Police are investigating potential suspects together. On whether they have identified suspects, Taylor could not give certain information, but responded that they found some people “tied with certain locations.”
Gettysburg College student Jared McCully, a resident of Ice House and a stolen bike victim, said he often rides his bike to class due to his distance away from campus and that he feels the school has adequate support for people who ride bikes.
“I have trust in my community… DPS is making an effort and have contacted me and asked for the info they need and said they are willing to help and answer any questions I might have,” McCully added.
Taylor said that having clear support for people when they are in need is critical because it “helps develop a trust with the students.” He highlighted that although DPS has to assess the level of the crime being committed, in every instance the people are still crime victims and DPS will be there to help them.
Another bike theft victim and Gettysburg student, Logan Aikey, whose bike was stolen Monday morning, said he “[doesn’t] think bike theft is a huge problem, but every now and again, [he] [hears] that people have lost their bike in conversation.” Both Aikey and McCully agreed that although joyriding does occur, they think that their bike was stolen by someone in the town since both of them live in Ice House.
Aikey, McCully and Taylor all agreed that the college supports bikers well with an adequate amount of racks. “Lt. Tim Craft (A Lieutenant for DPS) did an assessment to see if additional bike racks were needed,” Taylor said. “We try to put them (the racks) in areas that are accessible but also areas that are lit to deter people from taking bikes.”
Taylor also added that it is important to contact his staff if they see any suspicious activity regarding bike theft or crime in general on campus.
Regardless of the support that DPS and the campus has given bike riders, many still feel violated when their bike is stolen. McCully, a member of the Reserve Officers’ Training Corps, inquired “I feel violated as one who looks to help this country through service that I was betrayed by the very people I look to serve.”
McCully, who owns a bike with an American Flag design, claimed, “It was a patriotic bike. I think it was envy against me and a bias incident against patriotism. It was more of an attack on the American way of life.”
Editor’s note: Bikes can be registered with the Department of Public Safety to help identify stolen or missing bicycles. To do so, log into CNAV, select forms from the drop down menu, and select bicycle registration.