Bikes most common theft on campus

Priscila Goodalls bicycle was stolen on campus during the third week of classes.

Goodall, a freshman majoring in chemistry, called University Police (UP) immediately and filed a police report.

But since then, she hasnt heard about her bike.

My bicycle wasnt registered so there wasnt a whole lot that could have been done, Goodall said.

UP records show that in 2012, there have been 289 reported thefts of a variety of items on campus so far. There were 299 in 2011 and 321 in 2010.

Domingo said the number of thefts is pretty much on par in comparison to previous years, and that bicycles are the most commonly stolen item.

People know there are a large number of bicycles on campus, and this is true at any university, she said.

Domingo said she is unsure if specific areas of campus see more thefts, but said that residential areas generally have more bicycles and are most susceptible to larceny.

But for students like Goodall, Domingo advises taking extra precautions.

Lock up your bicycles securely, she said. Thin locks or chain locks are more likely to be cut with tools found at local hardware stores. A U-Bolt lock or a second lock attached to the back tire of a bicycle is more secure.

Goodall said from experience, U-locks, which range in price from $15 to $100, are worth the investment.

If not, theyll take the wheels off your bike and itll be gone, she said.

The 2012-13 edition of the Security and Fire Safety Report, published annually by UP, states that The more expensive and attractive your bicycle is, the more likely it is to be stolen. A mechanically sound, generic appearing bicycle is a less likely target.

Students concerned for their bicycles can participate in the Bicycle Anti-Theft (BAT) program offered through UP, which allows students to register their bicycle, engrave a serial number on it and place a sticker on it.

Between the hours of 11:30 p.m. and 6 a.m., if the owner is seen riding the bicycle, they can be stopped by UP to verify (their identity), Domingo said. If the person riding the bicycle is not the owner, (the owner) will receive a phone call (from UP), to see if they know where their bicycle is.

Maintaining a sense of situational awareness is taught to every student at new student orientation sessions, Domingo said, and reporting suspicious activity is beneficial to UP.

A phone call to us can really help out, she said. One person riding around with two bicycles can be a good indicator to call, since most of us only have one.