Sticky fingers heisting bikes from campus owners

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    By ANTONIO LIMA

    The summer’s rising temperature also brings a rising in the number of bicycle thefts on BYU campus, according to both University and Provo City Police.

    Summer’s warmth causes sticky fingers to heist more bikes than any other season, probably because of an increased number of bikes on campus and the escalating number of summer-weather cyclists.

    Sergeant Bob Eyre of the Crime Prevention Division at University Police said two to three bikes are stolen each week from BYU campus and resident facilities during the summer months. The values of the stolen bicycles span the entire gamut from $30 to $1,000.

    Eyre said the bicycle-theft data does not reveal any correlation between a bike’s brand name or value with a greater likelihood of it being stolen.

    According to a study conducted by University Police, 59 percent of stolen bicycles at BYU during 1996 were never locked. Thirty-four percent of the stolen bicycles used a chain or cable lock which was easily cut. Only seven percent of the stolen bicycles were locked up with a U-Lock.

    Most thefts occur at the resident areas of Deseret Towers, Heritage Halls, Helaman Halls and Wymount Terrace. “Lots of people leave their bikes unlocked because they feel secure at home. They become more complacent,” Eyre said.

    “I think the bicycle-theft problem is pretty serious. At BYU campus, 73 bikes were reported stolen in 1996 and 62 bicycles in 1997. Twenty-eight bike thefts have already been reported in 1998.”

    Captain Teuscher at Provo Police said the safest place to leave your bicycle is in your apartment because even if your bike is chained up, it could be stolen.

    The University Police recommend U-locks as the most effective bicycle lock on the market.

    “Bolt cutters easily snip through chains and cables,” Eyre said.

    The U-lock’s advantages — its steel construction and thickness — provide more resistance against a pair of bolt cutters and allows minimal leverage for tools to cut through them.

    “Keep an eye on your bike,” Eyre said. “A lot of students park their bikes on campus racks and don’t bother looking at it for a few months. Don’t expect your bike to be standing in the rack after a two-year mission.”

    Eyre said police also want everyone to register their bikes on campus and get Provo City bike licenses. The chance of recovering a registered, stolen bike is about 80 percent higher than those not registered.

    The police can return those registered, stolen bicycles recovered within the nation to their original owners by matching registration information through a police database.

    “It is important to have the serial numbers registered on the bicycle so that we can return any stolen property that is recovered,” Teusher said. “There are several groups that strip down and rebuild bicycles; without serial numbers, we can’t do anything.”

    BYU students can register bicycles at the Traffic Office located east of the Bell Tower.

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