by Morgan Sturdevant
On Oct. 14, Marc Chin left his ninth-period English class and did what he always does: He walked to the bike rack on the corner of Dorian Road and Rahway Avenue to ride home. This time, however, Chin’s bike was missing.
And it didn’t turn up. Half an hour later, Will Gamba faced the same situation. Both freshmen had their bikes—the combined value of which was more than $1,000 — stolen on the same day outside WHS. Their locks were cut and discarded on the ground nearby. Chin and Gamba filed police reports; Gamba now gets a ride to school and Chin rides his dad’s bike and has since bought a safer lock.
Sgt. Jeffrey Johnson, school resource officer, said there is an “open investigation” on the bike thefts.
The thefts aren’t limited to the high school: A few days before the incident at WHS, sophomore Nathan Gotz’s bike was stolen from his backyard. He had left his bike unattended in his partially fenced-in yard for around 15 minutes. Gotz believes there was a connection to the WHS thefts due to his close proximity to the school.
Acting Principal Dr. Derrick Nelson said that this is a relatively unfamiliar situation. “We have had very few bikes that have been stolen from Westfield High School in my time here,” said Nelson. “We had one student last year whose bike was taken, but they didn’t lock their bike to the rack.”
In reaction to the thefts, Nelson said that the police have increased patrols on Rahway Avenue.
Chin said that students should “get very secure locks and park their bikes on the rack behind the school where it is less exposed.”
Chin and sophomore Joel Guzman support the school adding cameras to the area.
Said Chin: “There are no security cameras at all by the bike rack by the auditorium. That needs to be solved.”