By Sadie Slager
A string of on-campus bike thefts has left several students without their preferred mode of transportation or sense of security.
Senior Erika Kazi said she knows of at least 10 bike thefts that have occurred on campus recently.
“The bike owners could have been inside a house or out of town,” she said. “Both have happened.”
Kazi said some bikes were locked up at the time they were stolen, but others were not. She said many bike thefts she has heard of occurred behind the Tree House, Citizens of the World House and The House of Peace and Justice.
“That area seems to be the prime area for bike theft,” she said. “It also is a main location of people who use bikes most frequently.”
Kazi said she thinks peoples’ motives for stealing students’ bikes are probably “to make a quick buck.”
According to Kazi looking for stolen bikes is “hopeless” and said those who have had their bikes stolen have not found any evidence leading them toward the perpetrator, so they are opting to buy new bikes instead.
“Occasionally people are lucky and will see young members of the Delaware community in town with a stolen bike,” she said. “But from my knowledge that has only happened once.”
One victim of recent on-campus bike theft is junior Kristen Krak. Her bike was stolen from outside COW House while she was sleeping. While her bike wasn’t new, Krak said it was special to her.
“It was my grandpa’s, so it holds much more of a sentimental value than a monetary one,” she said.
Krak said she didn’t have her bike locked up as securely as it should have been.
“It was locked up, but only to itself by the front wheel,” she said. “I absolutely know it should have been locked to something else, and I should have been using a thicker lock. I thought I was going to use it later that night, so that’s why I locked it to itself.”
Krak said she was “incredibly sad” to find her bike had been stolen.
“I was shocked,” she said. “I looked around the house to see if I had put it somewhere else, or if someone moved it to get their car in the driveway.”
According to Krak, every person she knows who has had a bike on campus has had it stolen within the last year, “especially during the spring and summer.”
Being an “incredibly busy person,” Krak said her bike made it easier for her to get around.
“My bike helped me get to where I needed to be on time, especially on days where it’s just one thing after another,” she said.
Krak said although these thefts have occurred, the OWU community is a “wonderful place” where she feels safe.
“We have to keep in mind that we’re not in a bubble,” she said. “We do live in a populated town, so that’s important to remember.”
Kazi said she thinks differently about OWU’s campus safety after the string of bike thefts.
“It’s unfortunate that I can’t trust that my private property will be safe in my home away from home,” she said. “I don’t think members of our campus are stealing the bikes either, which makes me a little more concerned. We love our bikes. We use them. Our lifestyles depend on them.”
Junior Colleen Bodee uses her bike to get around campus every day and said she was not aware of recent bike thefts on campus, but she always takes precautions in locking it up.
“I almost always lock it unless I know I’ll be back in a couple of minutes,” she said. “I think now I’ll probably be more careful about locking it up all the time.”
Bodee said she is not really surprised by recent bike thefts.
“I’m really paranoid about my bike getting stolen, so sometimes I almost expect it to be gone once I’ve left it somewhere for a while,” she said.
Bodee, who spends many hours in Haycock Hall on the easternmost side of campus, agreed that it would affect her lifestyle if her bike were stolen.
“I use it to get almost everywhere so when planning my day I’d have to start taking into account the fact that I would have to walk,” she said. “I also have to spend a lot of time in the art studios at night and I feel a lot safer taking my bike at night than I do walking.”