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Campus Police Responds to Rash of Bicycle Thefts

By Stream S. Wang
Staff Reporter

In response to the recent increase of on-campus bicycle thefts, the Campus Police Crime Prevention Unit released a bulletin of theft-prevention suggestions last week.

Thirty-nine bicycles were reported stolen in September, according to the bulletin written by Sergeant Cheryl Vossmer. From Oct. 126, there were another 18 reports of stolen bicycles and four reports of stolen parts, the bulletin said.

Most of the thefts occurred on Thursdays and Sundays, Vossmer said in the bulletin. The value of the stolen bicycles ranged from $40 to $1,200 and included various styles from three-speeds to mountain bicycles, she said.

Ian S. Eslick G, a recent bicycle theft victim, described his situation: "There I was, taking a quick dip into LaVerdes and forgetting to lock my bicycle up Poof! I come back and it's gone." Eslick's bicycle, a Shogun Prairie Breaker II, was not registered with the Campus Police.

Esther Kim '96 had her bicycle stolen from the Student Center bicycle rack about three weeks ago. "I was only gone for two hours, and someone made off with my locked bicycle," she said.

Kim had an Iron Horse AT50 mountain bicycle which was registered with the Campus Police.

In order to prevent bicycle thefts and aid in recovery of stolen bicycles, Chief of Campus Police Anne P. Glavin recommended that students register their bicycles, use good locks, and report suspicious activity to the police.

Registering Bikes Is Important

"The best thing students can do to deter theft is to register bicycles with the Campus Police," Glavin said. The police keep a record of bicycles and their serial numbers, which help locate the owner if the bicycle is found, she said.

People can register at Campus Police headquarters between 8:30 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, Glavin said.

"Another thing the students can do is to use good quality locks, not cables or chains," Glavin said.

"We recommend the [outdoor] bicycle compound at Building 13, which is better than most areas on campus," Glavin said. The compound is accessible using a card key which can be purchased for $5 from the Campus Police parking and traffic division.

Vossmer suggested using a high security U-lock fitted with a security collar or a plumber's T. Students with Kryptonite U-locks can get a free collar from the Campus Police, she said.

Vossmer advised securing both a wheel and the frame to a stationary object, with the lock placed as close to the ground as possible.

Since Oct. 28, Campus Police have increased the number of uniformed and plain clothes patrols, Vossmer said. "We are also working with other college and local police departments to identify suspects," she said.

"We know from past arrests we have made, and from comparing notes with other university police departments in the area that most of the thieves are not students but career criminals," Glavin said. "Our officers have been informed to keep an eye out for [these] individuals."

Institute regulations prohibit the securing of a bicycle to a stair handrail or in a hallway, Vossmer said. There is a fine of $25 to $50 if the bicycle is left for more than 24 hours.