On the same day bicycle registration began at the University Police (UP) building, a USF student reported her bicycle as stolen.
Wednesday was the first session for students to register their bicycles on campus. To register, the bicycle’s owner is required to fill out a consent form and, “stick a decal between the seat and handlebars, as close to the front as possible,” said UP policeman Chad Hill.
Samantha Porter, a freshman majoring in business, said she originally registered her bicycle with Parking and Transportation Services (PATS) over the summer and is glad she did.
Porter was surprised when she discovered that her bike, which was secured with a cable lock, was gone.
“You just don’t believe it,” she said. “You just think, ‘This can’t be real.’ Registering is free; everyone with a bike should do it. Having your bike stolen is much more likely than you think. It could happen to anyone.”
Hill, who was registering bicycles that day, said he wanted to make sure that students know which lock protects bicycles most effectively, such as U-locks – metal locks that cannot be easily cut.
“Cable-style locks are easy to cut off of your bike,” Hill said. “U-locks are the best at keeping your bike safe. If a registered bicycle is ever stolen, the owner can report it to University Police. We can look up the bike’s serial number and information which may lead to the recovery of the bicycle.”
During the summer, about 400 bicycles were registered, said UP spokeswoman
Lt. Meg Ross. Since Aug. 20, 15 bikes have been reported stolen and one has been recovered.
Hill said he hopes that with this system, students, like Porter, will see the benefits.
UP is still searching for Porter’s bike based on her registration information.
“By filling out one of these consent forms, students don’t have to memorize the serial number of their bike or anything else,” he said. “That way, if their bike is stolen, we have all of the information in our system. And all of it is free for USF students and staff.”
The next registration will be held Sept. 29 at the Marshall Student Center during the Transportation Expo from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.