Augie cyclists suffer bike swiping

Maria Fernanda Rubi

Recently, Augustana students report rises in bike theft across campus. 
Bobby Nwachukwu, a second-year student, has experienced bike theft twice during the academic year.  
Both robberies took place in November of fall semester. Nwachukwu left his bike at the bike rack of Erickson, the residence hall where he lives.  
“I had a lock on my bike… only a few people knew my code, but I don’t see why they would do it,” Nwachukwu said.  
Nwachukwu said he is not the only one who has experienced bike theft during this academic year.  
“There has definitely been an increase on campus because I am not the only one who got their bike stolen. I know three other friends experienced it too during fall semester,” Nwachukwu said. 
However, Augustana records do not show a spike in the number of bicycles stolen. According to an email sent out by Tom Phillis, chief of police,  there have only been two bike thefts since August of 2020.  
However, there may be cases that aren’t reported if  students prefer not to report the robbery.  
“I didn’t tell anyone else because how would they find it? So I just decided it was stolen… it’s just one of the things you have to let go, I guess,” Nwachukwu said. 
Similarly, Nwachukwu’s friends also didn’t report bike theft to public safety.  
Lindsay Maalouf is a first-year student who has recently experienced bike theft and didn’t report it to public safety. After her bike lock broke, Maalouf left her bike unlocked at the bike rack of Andreen residence hall. Two weeks ago it went missing.
“I didn’t take any action because I thought it was my fault because I left [the bike] unlocked, and there are no cameras in the area so we can’t tell who did it,” Maalouf said. 
According to Maalouf, friends from her greek group have also been targeted. Some girls reached out in the sorority group chat, asking if anyone had a missing bike. 
“It [bike theft] has happened on campus and around the area,” Maalouf said.  
Maalouf believes the bike thieves are not students from Augustana.   
“If I had to guess who took the bike, it wouldn’t be someone on campus because we go to a private school with 2,000 students, and if someone were riding my bike, I would recognize it,” Maalouf said. 
Public safety encourages students to use a quality bike lock, check on their bikes frequently and call them if they see anything out of the ordinary on campus.