October 25, 2014

Bike thefts increase this month

By David Cecil:

Someone is stealing bikes on campus—a rash of bicycle thefts this month has police wondering why students don’t lock up their valuable transportation.

Police say if you’re a bike owner, plan a trip to the shop this coming weekend. It could save you from hoofing it to school everyday.

Beyond actually finding a space to park your bike, ensuring it’s secure while you’re away in classes is the next big check mark on the to-do list for every biker on campus. With at least five accounts of bike theft this month alone, that security might just become more of a priority.

Lt. Col. Kenneth Brown, assistant chief of Police said the bike thefts are “more sporadic, with large groups happening at a time before vanishing. [Criminals] find a bike they want, then get it.”

Brown said the thieves range in age, and often are the same people that go straight back to the crime after being incarcerated for a time, then released.

Lt. John Tarter, the investigator in charge of bike-related incidences, said most theft attempts occur at night, and that police patrols make sure to do rounds near bike racks to deter thieves.

Both officers implore bike owners to purchase a u-lock system for their bike, as there have yet to be any thefts regarding owners of that specific device.

Placing the lock around the frame instead of just the tire (which often has a quick release feature holding it to the frame) is also recommended.

Tarter said registering bikes with the University aid retrieval of the bike and prosecution of the thief.

“We take note of the serial number, color, and brand of bike to run it through a national database,” he said.

This database, the National Crime and Information Center, provides the bike’s number and description to pawn shops and other second-hand sellers that would potentially see stolen goods.

This way, arrests and bringing the bike to its proper owner can be made far more quickly. Registration for the service can be done via the University’s homepage by searching “Bike registration.”

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