Within a single week, Corpus Christi has suffered two attempted bike thefts, including one audacious attempt to steal a bike from inside the college.
The attempts occurred within days of each other during 4th week. On the Friday, students received an email issuing a plea from college to practise stringent bike locking.
The most troubling effort involved a member of the public who had gained access to Corpus by masquerading as a student. After entering the back garden, the thief proceeded to take an unlocked bike and to leave the college. However, college staff quickly noted the suspicious behaviour and stopped the thief.
The college has limited public access so it is presumed the snatch was planned in advance, with the perpetrator picking a smaller college where it would be easier to avoid detection.
Students were outraged by the week’s events. Daniel Shearer, a Physics student at Corpus, said: “The idea that somebody could simply walk into a safe and friendly atmosphere like Corpus, then go on to show utter contempt and disrespect for the college, is […] a very worrying precedent,”
He added: “I’m quite worried this will reach a dangerous level where items begin being stolen from the JCRs”.
Although the thief was caught and the bike returned, the event has raised new concerns over the problems of bike theft and college security. The email sent by the college staff, entitled ‘Watch Out Thieves About’, begged students to “PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE lock your bike, wherever you leave it.”
The Corpus Christi bike shed is often overcrowded, which may explain why more students are leaving their bikes outside.
The Thames Valley Police estimates that around 50 per cent of people do not lock their bicycle properly, under the assumption that a high student population means mutual respect for student property.