Bicycle thefts on the rise

A rise in bicycle theft is prompting University Police Chief Tony Nelson to encourage students to educate themselves about personal safety and how to protect their belongings.

Police reports show six bicycle thefts this semester, near residential halls and off-campus housing. Some stolen bicycles were left unattended and unlocked while others were stolen when thieves snipped the cable locks, according to records.

Nelson suggested purchasing metal bar locks, which may cost more but are more difficult to destroy. The extra security of a metal bar lock versus a cable lock is worth the difference in price, he said.

“Don’t be an easy target,” Nelson said. “These are easy opportunity crimes. Thieves are looking for a chance to grab the item and go quickly. Make it as difficult as possible for them.”

Nelson advises students to remain alert and avoid being distracted by texting or scrolling on social media while walking on campus.  

“We don’t experience many smash and grab thefts. Most items are stolen from cars or dorms when the thief walks by, quickly checks for an unlocked door, takes an item and is on their way. Don’t leave laptops or other expensive belongings left unattended or in plain sight,” Nelson said.