Former Female Aggie Yell Leader Candidate Pleads Not Guilty To Stealing Bikes

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A former Texas A&M Yell Leader candidate pleaded not guilty to misdemeanor bike theft after she was arrested by campus police in May for stealing two bait bikes.

News 3 spoke with Samantha Ketcham's defense attorney Tuesday about the case, and also discovered how bait bikes are being used to cut down on a big crime problem on the A&M campus.

Samantha Ketcham maintains her innocence to stealing two bait bikes on the Texas A&M campus where police say they found them in her dorm room.

"We will persist in this not guilty plea," said Steve Gustitis, Ketcham's defense attorney.

"I will be acquiring information I discover from the prosecutors to help me and Samantha understand the nature of the case so we can start developing some defense strategies," said Gustitis.

Ketcham made national news last spring when she was briefly in a runoff to be the first-ever female Aggie Yell Leader. She spoke to us about the results February 29th.

"Overall I'm pretty happy with how it turned out," she said then.

Campus police haven't released a number on how many arrests have been made since they started the sting program, but say numerous people have been caught and bike theft is a major problem here.

More than 300 thefts are reported annually.

Brazos County County Attorney Rod Anderson says jail isn't likely for Ketcham.

"Usually on these the first time around it's a probation case so they can be given probation anywhere up to two years," he said.

In May Ketcham's mother told News 3 she thought she was picking up friend's bikes to keep them safe in her dorm room.

"Thinking about a plea deal right now, much, much too early for anything like that," said Gustitis.

Her next court date hasn't been set yet but is expected to happen this fall.

News 3's phone message to Ketcham Tuesday was not returned.

Even during summer school, A&M police get reports of dozens of stolen bikes.

In just the past week three men were arrested, Phillip Guadiano, Reginald Jenkins and Keith Richards were charged with stealing bikes on campus.