Grand Theft: Bicycle Season
A UA student bikes toward First Street on Sept. 21. A Daily Wildcat analysis showed an average of 250 bikes reported stolen on campus per year, and a 2017 Arizona Daily Star article found that 1,200 bikes were reported stolen in 2017.
The University of Arizona is home to a large collection of unattended bicycles throughout the school year, all subject to being snagged away from their owners. Summer session is no exception.
The University of Arizona’s bike population on campus creates an opportunity for people with ill intention to snap a U-lock for a bike. Although U-locks are for the most part trustworthy to keep a bicycle safe, location and visibility are another factor to keep in mind.
Though the last weeks of June 2018, there has been a daily trend of bikes being stolen or vandalized for parts. Two instances of larceny were reported June 25, when two bikes were stolen off their U-locks.
According to a UAPD police report, one of the victims sent images to police of his damaged bicycle and an 8-inch cutting-knife. According to UA Police Officer Rene Hernandez, bikes are an open opportunity to many people who look to take them at night or if they are parked in secluded areas.
Some of the stolen or damaged bicycles reported to UAPD were stationed next to or in UA parking lots, under shade.
According to UA Police Department’s records the most common parts to be found stripped off a bike are handle bars, seats, front wheels and some break cords.
The final weeks of June featured close to a dozen reports of stolen or vandalized bikes according to UAPDs records, with Hernandez noting that some victims of bike related crimes choose not to report vandalism or theft.
As part of their bicycle services, UA Parking and Transportation Services offers bike registration for any student interested, increasing chances of recovering it if lost or stolen. Other ways that bikes can be kept safe are bicycle enclosures in University Garages and bicycle lockers for rental use.
For UAPD it can be a tough job keeping all bicycles safe from people trying to steal them from an unattended rack. A bicycle with a hot bike seat and handlebars is better than a broken lock in a bike rack with plenty of shade.
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