Bike theft is the largest single crime committed on the CSU campus, according to Administrative Lt. Karl Swenson.
CSU Police Department recovered 50 bikes last summer that were stolen from a group of suspects that were stealing bikes on campus and then selling them to pawn shops.
“It was a fairly involved process,” Swenson said.
Officers received leads from witnesses, which led them to the suspects and the bikes. When a person sells an item to a pawn shop, they have to sign a slip and show identification, which is how the officers were able to get accurate descriptions of the thieves. Swenson thinks people may not realize that if they sign that the property is theirs and it really isn’t, that’s a felony crime and they will go to prison.
“Stealing bikes seems simple to students, but they get in over their heads really, really quickly,” Swenson said.
CSUPD receives a lot of reports from students that their bikes were stolen. Approximately 200 to 300 bikes were stolen this year.
“It’s the worst theft on campus,” Swenson said. “It doesn’t take ten seconds to take a wheel or pop a seat off. They’re stolen literally everywhere on-campus.”
Swenson recommends students to use two types of security devices for their bikes, a cable and a U lock, to make it less easy for thieves to walk off with their bikes.
Bikes are impounded in the spring and held until fall. If no one claims the bikes, they are placed in an auction. On average, 100 to 150 are impounded every year.
A handful of automobiles have been broken into, too.
“Someone will come through and hit several vehicles and split,” said Capt. Bob Chaffee of CSUPD. “It will happen in a short period of time. It’s hard to gather evidence if we don’t have a witness.”
Chaffee said that the CSUPD rarely receives leads for suspects involved in the thefts because either people don’t notice what is going on, they don’t want to help prevent the crime or they’re afraid of endangering themselves.
Every year at Preview, the freshman orientation program, CSUPD teaches students how to secure their valuables and report crime when they are witnesses of it. People continue to report stolen property more than any other crime on campus.
“We want our students and faculty to notify us if they see anything suspicious,” Chaffee said. “I plead to the community to recognize the fact that there aren’t enough police officers to prevent crime. If you feel funny about something, give us a call, we’ll check it out.”
1. Keep your wheels locked.
2. Register your bike at Green Hall-it costs $10 dollars.
3. Don’t wait too long to report that your bike was stolen, in order to prevent your bike being auctioned off.
4. Don’t leave valuables sitting on the car seat.
Summary Sentence: Theft, especially bike theft, is the highest form of crime on campus and students need to take precautions to make sure their property is secured, and report crime when they see it happening.