Written by Eli Dean
Security cameras outside of Armstrong Hall caught two people attempting to steal two bikes in the early hours of Sept. 25. Assistant Director of Public Safety Ken Davis said the two male suspects were arrested once Searcy Police officers were alerted.
“The incident from September 25 was a great example of how Public Safety monitors video surveillance, especially during curfew hours, to ensure that people and property at Harding are safe,” Davis said. “The males involved in the theft were first seen on video surveillance. Our officers were then able to stop them, and Searcy Police Officers placed the males under arrest. The owners of the bicycles were identified later that morning, and both bicycles were returned to their owners by that evening.”
One of the owners was freshman Aidan Bailey, who was alerted about his bike being involved in the attempted heist that morning.
“I saw the email [Public Safety sent out] and my sister texted me because she recognized my bike,” Bailey said. “The bike cost $100, so it was pretty important [that I got it back].”
After the incident, Bailey elected to relocate his bike during the night hours. However, he said this transition has come with a lot of extra work.
“I’ve been putting my bike in the back seat of my truck for the past few days,” Bailey said. “I can take the back wheel off and move the handlebars around so it fits back there.”
One way students have been able to keep their bikes safe on campus is by purchasing bike rack locks. Freshman Armstrong resident Payton Howe said when his bike was stolen early on in the semester, he knew he needed to get a lock for his new bike to prevent it from happening again.
“A couple of weeks into the semester, my first bike got stolen,” Howe said. “It was around $70, and my new one cost around $100. I also bought a Blackburn lock that comes with a key instead of a combination, and I generally thought that was a little better because the key is the only way you can get into it.”
Howe said he isn’t taking any more chances with his new bike while on campus and recommends that others take precautions to protect their bikes.
“No matter if you’re in a rush or late to class, take the time to lock up your bike,” Howe said. “I’m learning from my own mistake there, but I still think it’s super important to keep your bike safe.”
Davis agreed with that mindset and urged students who use bikes to get something to keep it secure to the bike rack to deter any potential theft.
“The best thing that students can do to keep their bicycles safe is to buy a good lock – u-bolt type lock locks are usually the most secure – and make sure to always lock their bicycles to a bike rack,” Davis said. “Public Safety and Physical Resources are evaluating ways in which we could centralize bike storage a little better to ensure that the area is well-lit and covered by video surveillance.”