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ISSUE 117 VOL 9 PUBLISHED 11/21/2003

Bike thefts rise: number of stolen cycles increases fourfold

By Emelie Heltsley
Staff Writer

Friday, November 21, 2003

The number of bikes stolen this year has increased almost four times from last year’s thefts, worrying many bike owners on campus.

As of Nov. 12, 11 bicycles have been stolen from bike racks around campus. Last year at this time, only three bikes had been stolen. Prices of stolen bikes ranged from $30 to $600.

Seven of the 11 stolen bikes were recovered. In one instance, the bike was recovered before the owner reported it missing. The seven recovered bikes totaled $1,235; the remaining four missing bikes total $950.

Fred Behr, director of public safety, sees "joyriding" as a major factor in the increase of bike thefts on campus. For example, if someone wants to ride from Mohn Hall to Hoyme Hall and they see an unlocked bike, some people will use it for a ride, then leave it at Hoyme.

Students, however, are not the only ones suspected. Off-campus visitors and guests are possible perpetrators, Behr said.

Behr is surprised at the number of bikes that are simply abandoned around campus. He is also surprised at the number of students who leave their bikes unlocked. Of the 11 stolen bikes, 10 of them were unlocked.

Behr suggests investing in a high quality "U-shaped lock" to secure the more expensive bikes. Students who use the simple chain lock are encouraged to secure the wheel of the bike as well as the body. This action prevents perpetrators from stealing the body of the bike and leaving the wheel, which has happened in the past.

Behr highly encourages students who own bikes to register them with the college. Stu-dents who register get a small sticker to put on their bike, making it easily noticeable if it is abandoned or taken off-campus.

He also suggests that students keep a closer eye on their bikes. Some students go weeks without making sure their bikes are still locked.

"By keeping a closer eye on their bike," Behr said, "students have a better chance of retaining their bikes."

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