Sep 132011
 
Authors: Jason Pohl

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 “string of bike thefts” in her Sept. 1 email to students.

As of Sept. 8, the number of reported bike thefts this semester was 34 –– 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.

“There is no way to tell for sure,” 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.

“We do take all reports seriously,” he said.

Police services aren’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.

“The first month is really bad,” he said. “Then it slowly tapers off.”

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 “cheap cable lock,” which can be easily cut.

“Just take care of your bike,” 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.

“I’m not too worried,” said James Winter, a freshman environmental engineering major. “It’s not that expensive.”

Jenna Hanson, a master’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.

“I am a little worried,” she said. “But I don’t feel like anyone would take mine.”

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 news@collegian.com.

By the numbers

*148 *
2010 reported bike thefts

*117 *
2011 reported bike thefts so far

23
Up to Sept. 8, 2010

34
Up to Sept. 8, 2011

Source: CSUPD

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