A bicycle theft on Monday night left four young men handcuffed on Locust Walk between 39th and 40th streets.
Around 9:15 p.m. on Monday, a male student alerted the Penn Police Department to an attempted theft outside of Harnwell College House, according to the Division of Public Safety. Four young boys, around 15-years-old, had been using bolt cutters to free a bike from its cable lock on the west side of Harnwell, according to DPS.
Once the witness drew attention to them, the juveniles scrambled across campus. They were not affiliated with Penn.
Penn Police approached them after spotting them on PennCom CCTV cameras, at which point they scrambled in different directions.
“We were able to stop all four suspects at various ends of campus, two in front of Rodin House and two in front of Mayer Hall,” Vice President for Public Safety Maureen Rush said.
At least five police vehicles were present at the scene — a sedan, two SUVs and two large vans, all clustered around the intersection of 40th and Locust streets.
Two Penn Police officers on the scene confirmed they were responding to an attempted bicycle theft.
“It was a bicycle theft and they do have a young man in custody,” the first officer said.
One of the juveniles had a backpack full of bolt cutters and a BB gun, according to Rush. All four of them will be charged with theft, and the individual with the backpack will face an additional charge of violating a city ordinance.
Rush said investigators had to wait to charge the juveniles because the Division of Public Safety had been unable at that point to identify the person whose bike was stolen. She encouraged students to register their valuables with Campus Express to expedite the process of identifying a victim.
“If the bicycle was registered with Campus Express, we would have known who the owner was and could have immediately arrested all four males,” she said.
As for cable locks, Rush said, “Do not use [them]. They are easily defeated.”
City News Editor Dan Spinelli contributed reporting.
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