University Police arrested the prime suspect in the string of recent bike thefts Thursday, but that doesn’t seem to have slowed the rate bikes are disappearing from the USF campus.
“It’s pretty accurate to say that if he’s still in jail, obviously we have more than one person out here working on stealing bikes,” said UP spokeswoman Lt. Meg Ross.
Six more bicycle thefts, all of them bikes with cable locks outside of residence halls, were reported this weekend, Ross said.
Michael Smith, 33, whose last known address was 10910 19th St. N., was arrested Thursday in connection with the thefts and charged with loitering and trespassing after a warning. He remains in the Orient Road Jail on a $750 bond.
The bikes – ranging from $200 to $700 and including brand names such as TREK and Gary Fischer – were stolen from Magnolia D and F, Holly G and Betty Castor Hall.
The bikes were reported stolen Sunday and Monday, but the time frame for some of the thefts could reach back to Thursday, according to police reports.
Ross said she suspected the victims in these cases may have been away or off campus for the weekend and noticed the bikes missing only when they headed to class Monday morning.
UP does not have any witness or leads in the case, Ross said, and Smith is not linkable to any of these thefts.
“The police department is doing everything we can to try to locate the suspect in both of those types of crimes” said Ross, “In the past, we’ve known when certain people get out of jail that bike thefts are going to spike. We have not identified any of our previous suspects as possibilities in these cases.”