Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 10
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Campus bicycle theft a problem for first-years

First-year students who had their bicycles stolen during the first week of school were caught unprepared.

“It was shocking,” said first-year Katie Richards. “I totally didn’t expect [my bike to be stolen] because I didn’t think Whitman was like that at all. I thought Walla Walla was going to be a safe community.”

Campus bicycle theft a problem for first-years | Photo by Lauren Hisada
Bicycle theft has been unusually prevalent since school has begun. According to the crime log posted by the security staff at dailysecuritylog.wordpress.com, there have been 22 bicycle thefts since the beginning of the school year.

Twenty occurred during or prior to the first week of classes. The majority of bicycles were stolen from the Jewett/Lyman area of Ankeny field.

Some first-years admit that losing their bikes affected their early impressions of Whitman College.

“It wasn’t a warm welcome into the Whitman community,” said first-year Abby McCoy, whose $500 bicycle was stolen two days before classes began. The Walla Walla police recovered her bike when they broke up a fight among youths in town.

McCoy says she plans to bring her bike home and return with a less expensive one. “I knew that there was a pretty big risk it would be stolen, I just didn’t expect it to happen that fast,” she said.

The first-year victims of bike theft have become much more cautious with their possessions. McCoy said, “You just don’t appreciate your stuff ’til it’s gone!” Richards says she now is much more careful to lock her door.

Zach Rosenberg, who lost his bike during first-year orientation, has bought a lock for his computer. He also recommends that students buy both a coil lock and a U-lock for their bicycles. “At some point, your bike just becomes too much trouble,” he said.

Rosenberg also called the excessive theft rate this year “a big deal.” He said, “In a way it’s good because it’s going to attract more attention [to the problem] than if it was just my bike.”

First-year students wonder whether Walla Walla residents or Whitman students are to blame for the thefts. They agree that the answer is hugely pertinent to the way in which they view the college.

“I really don’t think any Whitman students are doing it. I’m under the impression that the townies are involved,” said Katie Richards. Rosenberg says he would be comforted about the situation if the thieves were from Walla Walla rather than from the college.

“I’d like to think it’s someone from the community and not someone here at Whitman, but it honestly could be anybody,” Rosenberg said.

McCoy, however, doesn’t agree.

“I would hate it to be townies,” she said, “because I wouldn’t want anything to further estrange Whitman College from the town. I wouldn’t want anything to make those relations more hostile.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Whitman Wire Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *