By: MANDI STEFFEY
Bike thefts occur on campus every year, but according to IUPD Police Chief Martin Gersey, this year the numbers seem high. So far this semester, the police department’s crime log is showing a bike theft on almost every single report.
“The last few years have been particularly bad,” said Gersey. “There have been bikes stolen all over campus and at housing.”
“Our thought is that the people who are stealing these bikes are likely people who don’t live on campus or attend classes on campus,” he said.
Gersey said that the biggest obstacle his force has to face is the fact that almost no students who report bike thefts have registered their bikes with the university’s bike registration system, which is a simple one-page document a student can fill out to have their bike in the police department’s files.
According to Gersey, this is the best way that a student can ensure that their bike may be recovered after it is stolen.
“When someone reports a bike theft, it’s very helpful for us to know the serial number of the bike. If a student hasn’t registered their bike, there’s a slim chance we’re going to know which bike to look for,” said Gersey. “We can put the serial number into our systems. That allows u to be more likely to find the bike.”
According to Gersey, only one student who reported a bike theft this semester actually had their bike registered with the university’s system. In almost every other case, the department has a slim chance of locating the bike.
Gersey also said that the type of lock a student uses to secure his or her bike outside of campus buildings can make a big difference in whether it can be stolen or not.
“People have to realize that certain locks don’t offer a lot of protection,” said Gersey. “Those cable locks and thin cables can be cut very easily with a number of different tools.”
Gersey said that the U-shaped metal locks are the better option.
“Those can’t really be cut easily,” he said.
Students on campus use a variety of locks, while some don’t lock up their bikes at all. Gersey said that to lower the risk of someone stealing a bike, students should secure them and always be aware.
“People need to be alert when it comes to their property,” he said. “I know students are focused on studies, but if someone needs help with this, I urge them to call us. It’s very important.”
“We’ve got officers out there going around and keeping an eye on things, but people need to be watchful,” said Gersey.
The bicycle registration form can be found at IUPD’s website, IUSB.edu/police.