Last week, between Tuesday and Wednesday night, ten bikes were stolen from the Ludwell Apartments. Thievery is a relatively inconspicuous problem at the College of William and Mary, with the student body relying heavily on the strength of the Honor Code. This trust makes our lives incalculably easier and makes the College a better place to live. It can, however, lull us into a sense of complacency that makes us forget to take proper precautions. A look at the College’s crime logs will reveal that thievery happens. That said, there are steps you can take to prevent it.
Please, lock up your bikes. While this measure provides little defense against lock cutters, it will prevent most people from even considering stealing your bike. In addition, you should register bikes with the William and Mary police department. That way, if your bike is stolen, there is a chance the police will find it. Report a theft as soon as you find out. The more time that passes, the harder it will be to locate the bike. Taking precautionary steps when it comes to your belongings is vital to making sure you leave the College with the same goods you brought here.
This advice can be expanded to students’ property in general. Keep track of your stuff: Students leave phones, laptops and other expensive equipment unattended all the time. As broke college students, we do not have the luxury of being able to replace all of these things. No one wants to lose that expensive computer that contains the hard work of a semester. Bear in mind that not everyone who enters this campus has reverence and respect for our Honor Code.
We would advise that students approach protecting their property with faith in the Honor Code, keeping in mind realistic expectations of student and townie behavior. The Honor Code requires that students mix a sense of trust in our community with a sense of reality. The Honor Code provides guidelines for us to follow, but sometimes people stray from those guidelines. It’s best to ensure that you’re prepared so you’re not thrown off when these events happen. Most people at the College won’t steal from you; it’s your job to make sure no one does.
It’s an unfortunate fact, but William and Mary Police Chief Don Challis noted that students commit most bike thefts. This is a reminder that, as students, we need to respect each other’s property. Bikes aren’t the cheapest purchase, and stealing one from fellow students impacts them more than it might seem initially.
It should be noted: The Honor Code works well at the College. The report of high bike thefts this year isn’t the most alarming crime news. Most people respect each other’s property, and it’s nice to know that we live in a fairly respectful community. It isn’t usually out of negligence that people leave their things unguarded; it is out of trust. We should be proud of that.