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The Blue & Gray Press | July 16, 2018

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Borrowed bike? One student experiences unusual theft over fall break

Borrowed bike? One student experiences unusual theft over fall break


After returning from fall break, Jamie McGuire, a freshman and secretary of the Student Senate, noticed that multiple bikes seemed to be missing from the Randolph Hall bike storage room. Following her discovery in the storage room, McGuire realized that her own bike was missing, and in response she carried out her own investigations to try and figure out what had happened while she had been away.

Her investigations eventually led her to contacting the UMW Police Department to report what she had discovered and to receive further help.

The department carried out an investigation pertaining to all of the bikes in question. Upon watching video surveillance, McGuire said she discovered that her bike had been taken by a student-athlete.

McGuire said her bike was without her consent or knowledge at strange hours, such as late at night.

McGuire also said that the bike received visible damage.

Though numerous bikes were taken out of the storage room, police questioning found that many others were taken wit permission.

McGuire said she disagreed with the terminology used by the UMW Police Department’s investigations, which to her bike as “borrowed” rather than “stolen.”

UMW Police does not appear to have a penalty for borrowing. According to McGuire, the students accused of taking bikes without permission are waiting to be brought before the Honor Council, which will adjudicate the matter.

“Personally, I felt violated that other students took advantage of the honor code and stole my possessions and left it damaged,” McGuire said. “I trusted the honor code. And with this trust, I believed that I had left my bike in a secure bike storage area for fall break.”

The university’s student-athletes are also held to the high standard of representing UMW in all that they do, and in McGuire’s case, the accused athlete in question began her year signing the UMW Student-Athlete Code of Conduct agreeing to the, “responsibility to lead and conduct themselves in a manner that is a credit to themselves, their sport and to the university… to be a role model, mentor and spokesperson… and [to] be held accountable for their actions.”

“All student-athletes must sign a Code of Conduct in order to participate in athletics,” said athletic director Ken Tyler. “Violations are dealt with on a case by case basis and sanctions can range from reprimand to dismissal from the program. We expect our student-athletes to act as responsible members of the community at all times.”

With the investigation continuing, McGuire awaits word on what will occur in the case of her bike.

* A previous version of this story stated the name of the student-athlete McGuire accused. It was removed because it failed to comply with a Blue & Gray policy that states the paper is not allowed to name students accused of crimes unless they’re involved in cases involving violence, and they’ve been formally charged by law enforcement officials. Several sentences have also been revised to reflect the sourcing of the information contained in the piece as well as to clarify the fact that a verdict has not been reached in this case.