Bike thefts continue to rise, students urged to take precaution

The bike cages at Long Beach State near the dorms are meant to keep the bikes secure but with the rise of bike thefts; campus police are heavily advising students to register their bikes with the university.

The bike cages showed to be a problem near the dorm area due to people not using them correctly.

“If [students] are using the bike cage, make sure that [they] close the gate behind [them] and that the bike still needs to be securely locked because somebody else can leave the cage door open,” said University Police Chief John Brockie.

There is an issue, however, of students forgetting to close the gate behind them, according to Brockie.

Friends of kinesiology student Kimberly Curutchet have experienced issues with the bike cages.

“I don’t personally bike on campus, but my friends do and they think the cages are not fully safe because many times the cage is open,” Curutchet said.

Curutchet thinks the safety of bikes is important, and the university should have a tracking system or cameras around the campus to help students. Bike theft is a concern at Long Beach State since it is difficult for police to locate stolen bikes if they are not registered.

Registering a bike with campus police is a way to submit details of the bike so it can easily be found if stolen.

“I know there are cameras around the campus, but I also think there needs to be something more,” Curutchet said. “Not just bikes but other items get stolen on campus too and as a student who comes on campus and gets this kind of treatment is kind of sad.”

In addition, the police take the serial number and issue a little tag that is a “tamper-proof form of metal sticker tag” attached to the bike. If the bicycle is found off campus, the university police will be able to identify its owner.

They’ve also found bikes throughout campus. Campus police remind students and faculty to register their bicycles with them because it is easy to find the owner and the bike if found.

“A few nights ago, a [bike] was laying in the grass by Whaley Park and we looked at it and it had our tag on its registered bike, so we knew that it was one of our students, so we contacted the owner,” Brockie said.

Public Affairs and Communications Specialist Chad Keller uses a combination of bus and bike to commute to campus after selling his car in August 2022.

“Commuting via bike has been roughly favorable because I haven’t experienced too many issues,” Keller said. “It took a little time to figure out what path to connect to my building but other than that; it’s been pretty favorable.”

Keller works at Brotman Hall and there are two bike racks. There’s one beneath the bridge and right in front of the building.

“I’ve never had a theft or anybody messing with my lock or anything,” Keller said. “I use a U-lock and I lock the frame and the tire together.”

Keller suggests registering bikes with campus police and purchasing a U-lock to keep bikes safe.

One of the concerns of students who ride bikes on campus is if their bikes are stolen, there is no assurance that they will be found. According to the campus police, there were 33 bikes stolen in 2021 and 34 in 2022. For 2023 so far, there have been two bikes stolen since January.

“Just keep things safe by yourself because one might not be able to find his or her items back,” Curutchet said. “I tell my friends just to be attentive and try to keep their bikes in a safe spot because, at the end of the day, it is their property.”

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