This article was updated on March 6 to correct an error in calculations regarding bike theft statistics.
In 2013 there were only 69 reported incidents of bike theft on campus, a 44 percent decrease from 2012, according to recently-released crime statistics from the Cal State Fullerton University Police.
While the reports indicate a big improvement, the numbers are still double what they were in 2009. University Police officers are actively working to decrease these numbers as much as possible.
Throughout 2013, officers studied the trends and hotspots with the most theft and used that information to help prevent more incidents. Capt. John Brockie said directing patrol units to needed areas, as well as security cameras, have helped to reduce the number of thefts.
He advises students to be careful when using their bikes and take every precaution to keep it safe while locked up and to also be aware of the features on your. Wheels are are easily stolen and need to be locked along with the frame.
“Use a quality lock. I recommend a metal ‘U’ type lock,” Brockie said. “Cables and chains are generally easy to defeat.”
Brockie said University Police has a plan of action to continue to lower the number of bike thefts. The housing area, which previously had the highest number of incidents than anywhere else on campus, is now home to the University Police’s Crime Prevention Unit.
“This gives us a permanent home in Housing which will increase the police presence,” Brockie said. “Coupled with our campaign to increase the bicycle registration program, we think bike theft will be reduced in Housing.”
Despite the number of bike thefts in previous years, some students still seem to feel safe leaving their bikes on campus. Cameron Hernandez, a psychology major, said he rides his bike to class every day, even for his evening classes.
Hernandez uses two separate locks to ensure the frame and tires are properly secured.
“I still ride my bike just so I don’t have to park,” he said.
Michael Leighton, an engineering major, said he is not comfortable leaving his bike for an extended period of time. Like Hernandez, he is careful to lock both the tires and frame to be safe.
“I know it happens a lot, but I make sure to lock my bike up every time,” he said.
Hernandez and Leighton are two of the many students that rely on their bikes to get to class every day.
Bikes are not always recovered, but the ones that are can only be returned if they are registered with the University Police. Otherwise, there is no way for University Police to identify the owner. Stolen bikes that are found frequently end up never being returned because of this.
Students can register their bikes by taking them to the University Police station or the Housing Community Resource Center.
For more information on how to register bikes, contact University Police at (657) 278-2515.