Austen: Campus police applaud quick-thinking student

Last week, an alert Western student, on her 18th birthday no less, became suspicious when she saw two men loitering near the bike racks at Essex Hall. Because of a recent escalation in bike thefts, campus police had posted an alert on its website as well as Western’s home page. Although the student hadn’t seen these postings, she was watching the two men cutting a chain lock with bolt cutters, which were then hurriedly placed in a backpack when they noticed the woman watching.

The suspects took off south on Western Road – one speed-walking, the other riding the stolen bike.

The student immediately reported to the desk staff in Essex; campus police were contacted. Special Constable Rick McWatt was dispatched to Essex, and London police were notified. Two blocks south, a London officer on Western Road spotted the alleged thieves as soon as the dispatch was sent to their cruisers. McWatt and the London officers arrested the pair, recovering the bike and seizing the bolt cutters.

This student did a great job, McWatt said. Her description of both individuals was detailed and spot on, including details of the bike that had been stolen – much better than many who are trained in providing descriptions.

We’d like to congratulate this young woman on the great job she did, taking time out on her birthday to help apprehend thieves, and help maintain a safe campus.

Elgin Austen
Director, Campus Community Police Service