Bike Share, Campus Safety address thefts

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Bike Share has finished collecting data on campus bike thefts and is working with Campus Safety to increase surveillance and educate students on how to securely lock up bikes. Campus Safety detailed its own research on the topic to the student body in an email Oct. 29.

Using the data collected on the recent thefts, Bike Share’s Student Service Manager Marvin Browne (senior) concluded that thieves primarily target bikes located on the periphery of campus.

The survey gathered 17 reports of bikes stolen from campus since 2013, with thefts in 11 different locations. Two students additionally reported having only their bike seat stolen, while another two reported their tires stolen.

Chief of Campus Safety Victor Clay attributed the recent spike in thefts to the open nature of campus.

“We have easily accessible ingress and egress points all around this campus, so in my opinion, I would contribute [sic] the spike to accessibility,” Clay said via email.

Bike Share employees brought their research before Campus Safety with the intent of creating a partnership that would work toward stopping the thieves and educating students on how to properly lock their bikes.

“We spoke about anti-theft devices and practices that they consider effective and I compared those ideas to our ideas,” Clay said via email. “Not surprisingly, we share a common interest in reducing and hopefully eliminating the number of thefts on campus.”

In its Oct. 29 email, Campus Safety outlined practices — like checking on a locked bike if it is left unused for a long period of time and keeping a record of the bike’s serial number, make and model — students can use to protect their bikes from thieves. The email also contained images of the suspected bike thieves stealing bikes from Berkus and Pauley Halls, two residence hall located on the edges of campus.

In the survey data collected by Bike Share, 14 of the 21 reported stolen bikes were secured with a cable lock. Browne stressed that the best way to secure bikes is by investing in a U-lock. Five stolen bikes were secured with a U-lock through the frame and wheel.

“Unlike the commonly used cable locks, U-locks are very strong and cannot be cut with any ordinary wire cutter,” Browne said.

Browne said that he had concerns about the placement of security cameras on campus, which typically face entrances outside residence halls and sometimes fail to surveil the bike racks nearby.

Browne said that one strategy Campus Safety is implementing will be to conduct more patrols near bike racks that are not covered by cameras.

Clay said that he could not reveal all new strategies that Campus Safety is implementing in order to maximize the efficiency of the new tactics.

“I don’t want to share what those tactics are, because it could jeopardize our future anti-theft enforcement techniques, but I did ask my staff to be diligent and very proactive in their enforcement efforts,” Clay said via email.

Clay said there are no current leads on who the suspects in the email are and that he would appreciate the community’s help in identifying them.