During the initial few weeks of the semester, the CSU Police Department received more reports of missing bicycles than last year, prompting Police Chief Wendy Rich-Goldschmidt to warn of a â€œstring of bike theftsâ€ in her Sept. 1 email to students.
As of Sept. 8, the number of reported bike thefts this semester was 34 â€“â€“ up from 23 by that date last year, according to Lt. Christopher Wolf, the police administrator for CSUPD.
Police officials say the 47 percent increase from last year may be from a variety of factors including higher rates of online reporting.
â€œThere is no way to tell for sure,â€ Wolf said.
Wolf explained that even though the numbers may be higher than last year, it remains unclear whether this is a string of thefts or just isolated incidents, which can be common at the beginning of the semester.
When a bicycle is reported missing, the serial number is entered into the National Crime Information Center. The NCIC is operated by theFBI and maintains millions of claims ranging from property theft to fugitive lists.
â€œWe do take all reports seriously,â€ he said.
Police services arenâ€™t the only ones who have taken notice of the increased reports.
Rico Lighthouse, an employee at Recycled Cycles in the Lory Student Center, said people come into the shop several times each week in search of their missing bike.
â€œThe first month is really bad,â€ he said. â€œThen it slowly tapers off.â€
Recycled Cycles purchases bikes from students, and Lighthouse said each bike is checked through the police department before being restored to ensure it has not been reported stolen. Additionally, records of the individual sale are taken, similar to a pawn shop.
Lighthouse said one of the biggest problems he has seen is people not locking their bikes at all or using a â€œcheap cable lock,â€ which can be easily cut.
â€œJust take care of your bike,â€ he said.
Despite the risk of theft or vandalism of all sorts of bikes, many students seem apathetic to the potential risk of having their bikes stolen.
â€œIâ€™m not too worried,â€ said James Winter, a freshman environmental engineering major. â€œItâ€™s not that expensive.â€
Jenna Hanson, a masterâ€™s student in English and Spanish expressed some concern after seeing friends have their bikes stolen, but she said they were nicer bikes in comparison to her 1980s cruiser where the newest components are a bell and basket.
â€œI am a little worried,â€ she said. â€œBut I donâ€™t feel like anyone would take mine.â€
For more information about theft and crime on campus or to report a theft, visit http://police.colostate.edu
Senior Reporter Jason Pohl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By the numbers
2010 reported bike thefts
2011 reported bike thefts so far
Up to Sept. 8, 2010
Up to Sept. 8, 2011