A string of bicycle thefts hit the residential dormitories last week.
Kat Pismenny, a freshman journalism major who lives in the H building at Parkside said her bike was stolen last Monday or Tuesday, but that she has yet to report it stolen.
“When I came back from class, the [residential assistant] posted on the [H building] Facebook page, saying ‘watch out, I just found a cut bike lock,’” Pismenny said. “I was thinking ‘oh its fine, that’s not my bike lock’ and I saw my bike literally the day before.”
When she walked to where her bike had been locked up, she said a new bike was in its place, and her cable lock was cut and lying on the ground.
Lt. Richard Goodwin from California State University, Long Beach Police said that three students reported their bikes stolen on Feb. 3.
Carol Roberts-Corb, the director of housing and residential life, said that all residents are strongly encouraged to use U-locks when securing their bikes.
“[U-locks are] harder to break into,” Roberts-Corb said. “Some students don’t even lock their bikes or they just lock their wheel and it’s easy to take off the wheel and not lock the frame.”
Keith Caires, the crime prevention sergeant for CSULB campus police said that only one bike secured with a U-lock has been stolen in the past year.
“Over time we found that they are much harder to defeat,” Caires said. “It takes a hefty tool to break through [U-locks], certainly not a hand tool, whereas with a cable lock, a thief can just snip it with cutters.”
Campus police received the first report at 2:30 p.m. The bicycle was registered to university police and Goodwin said the police are investigating the theft. Goodwin said the blue and green 18-speed specialized mountain bike was stolen from outside Los Cerritos Hall. Only the cut cable lock has been recovered.
The second bike, reported stolen outside the Parkside dining hall at 5 p.m. has yet to be recovered and the police have not identified and suspects, Goodwin said. The student described the bike as a turquoise Beach Cruiser Electra, valued at $258. The student left the bike on the racks over the weekend and reported seeing it last at 8 p.m. on Feb. 2. Goodwin said the student used a cable lock to secure the bike, but that it had been cut off.
At 9 p.m., a student left his or her bike locked outside the Parkside dining hall overnight and discovered the bike missing the next day, Goodwin said. Police do not have a description of the bike, but it was said to be valued at $130. The student secured the bike with a cable lock, which the robber cut, Goodwin said.
Caires said that CSULB police are increasing bicycle-licensing efforts. Residents can register their bikes with campus police on dorm move-in dates. Last semester, campus police worked with a ride share service for the Lock and Roll program. The program purchased 100 U-locks with a $1,000 grant to sell U-locks to students for $5 instead of $35, if the students registered their bikes.
“If a bike with license gets stolen, we have a serial number on file and bike entered into statewide computer system,” Caires said. “If anyone in the state finds the bike, it will be come back reported as stolen to CSULB.”
Roberts-Corb said that the housing office notify the police if residents report their bikes stolen to them.
“I don’t know if any of them have been solved…” Roberts-Corb said. “…I haven’t heard bikes being stolen recently. In my six years here, have we had bikes stolen? Yes. But recently or not…not that I’m aware of.”
Caires said that despite the recent incidents, bike thefts on campus in general are down by 47 percent compared to last year.
Staff writers Madison Moore and Collin James contributed to this report.