Thirty seconds to cut a cable lock, 25 bike thefts at Colorado College, 5 of those arrests made, 4 bikes recovered, and it would’ve only taken one person to change these numbers.
“Bike theft has always been the number one crime on campus,” said Officer Newton, our CSPD officer here on campus. “[But] it’s an increase this year.” With an annual average of 50 bike thefts over the past three years here at CC, Block 1 has set an alarmingly high 25-theft starting point for this school year.
One of the common factors behind missing bikes could be that “from the past 25 thefts that we’ve had, 24 of them were locked up with cable locks,” says Officer Newton. “It’s always interesting that people would spend thousands of dollars on a bike but then, like, nine dollars on a lock.”
Armed with a small pair of bolt cutters or wire cutters in their pocket, any person strolling by can go off and steal a bicycle in less than 30 seconds. In fact, from the arrested bunch contributing to these statistics, “none of them have been students. They all have been local citizens,” Newton said.
Preventative measures available to students include calling campus safety when you spot suspicious behavior, registering your bike with safety, locking your bike up with a U-lock every single time, and most importantly, taking a picture of your bike’s serial number.
“We can’t track it down without the serial number,” said Newton. Due to the fact that there are innumerable copies of the same bike lying around, a mere physical description does not suffice for identification purposes.
Using that serial number, CSPD and Campus Safety can “look through pawn database,” Newton said. Every pawn shop is required to get the serial number of a bike they sell, making serial number identification one of the greatest methods for recovering your bike.
What is campus safety going to do? “Continue what they have been doing—proactive control, just being out there talking to the students,” said Newton. “You can have a thousand cops on campus but there’s still going to be bike theft.”
Officer Newton said that CC, “cannot disclose where all of the cameras are because criminals could be reading The Catalyst,” but know that cameras are posted all throughout campus, particularly in “high theft areas.”
So keep an eye out, Tigers, and don’t be afraid to act on your gut feeling; it could save one bike, two bikes, three bikes, or your bike.