Bike thefts nearing record on BYU campus

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With bicycle thefts on campus reaching an all-time high, campus police issued a warning for students to be more vigilant.

Lt. Arnold Lemmon, public information officer for BYU Police, said he feels it is important students know bicycle thefts are reaching a record number.

“Bicycle thefts are on the rise both on campus and throughout the community,” Lemmon said.

With the cooperation of students, Lemmon said the trend can be slowed. Students should report strange or suspicious people around the bike racks on campus.

In the past 10 years the lowest number of bike thefts to date was in 2005, when there were only 54. Since then, thefts have gradually increased. The worst year to date was with 132 was 2009, and the numbers are still on the rise.

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Nine months into 2011 there have been 105 thefts.

At a religious institution that strongly encourages honesty, bike theft may not seem like a reality to some.

Todd Brown, a Chinese major from Glendora, Calif., said he doesn’t notice a problem.

“I’m not too worried about it,” Brown said. “Like today I didn’t lock it because I forgot the lock at my sister’s apartment.”

Many students like Brown are simply unaware of the problem. But once he was made aware of the current situation on campus he had a change of attitude.

“I’m…scared,” he said.”And now that you tell me that I want to go make sure it is still were I left it.”

Despite the warnings, people are just not taking the issue seriously.

Bradley Davis, an advertising major from Riverside, Calif. said he has had three bikes stolen in the last year. One of them was stolen while parked on campus and two from his apartment complex. In all three cases he forgot to lock them up.

“Make sure you lock them up in a place where there is going to be a lot of people around,” Davis said. “Even if you think you are going to be really quick, make sure you lock it up.”

Unfortunately for him, he had to learn the hard way three times. This is why Lemmon and the BYU police are strongly urging students to take better care of their bicycles.

“I’m in the library studying all day and they are just going to steal my bike?” Brown said. “If I saw them I’d run and tackle them off my bike. Then ride off into the sunset.”

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