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Reports of bicycle thefts double in the past year

By Irene C. Kuo

Approximately 25 bicycles or parts of bicycles have been reported stolen since August 1, more than double the figure for the same period last year. Since January 1, the Campus Police has received 120 such reports.

Patrolman Cheryl Vossmer said that fewer thefts occurred near Amherst Alley than near the academic buildings. Only a very small number of bikes have been recovered, she added. Three fourths of the thefts were of complete bikes, the others were of parts.

One reason she offered for the theft increase is that more students are using bikes, and costlier ones at that. "Most thefts were of mountain bikes and other expensive bikes," she said.

"Thieves have found ways to defeat U-shaped locks," she explained. "Also, many owners park their bikes in random places, since they are not allowed to secure them to stairwells or keep them in the halls or in labs."

Her recommendations include using a plumber's "T" with a U-lock, registering bikes with the Campus Police, and parking bikes in the special compound behind Building 13.

She stressed the importance of reporting bike thefts so that the Campus Police can locate theft prone areas.