More than two dozen bikes stolen at GVSU

26 bicycles reported stolen, half left unlocked

By Hannah Lentz | 3/13/16 11:32pm

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GVL / Archive GVSU student, Annie Taccolini, uses one of the new bike repair stations to pump air into her tires on GVSU's Pew campus. The stations are located at the L. William Seidman Center, the Eberhard Center, the Cook-DeVos Center for Health Sciences and Winter Hall.

by Archive / Grand Valley Lanthorn

Since August, 26 cases of bicycle theft have been reported to the Grand Valley State University police department. In half of these cases, the bikes were not locked.

While many types of property theft have declined in recent years, bicycle theft is on the rise according to FBI statistics. It is estimated that over 1.5 million bicycles are stolen every year. According to the national bike registry, the biggest place where bike theft occurs is on college campuses. For example, over half of the property crime in the University of California involves the theft of bicycles.

"Because bikes were not locked, a crime of opportunity presents itself," said Capt. Brandon DeHaan of GVPD.

The Pew Campus Security Department recommends using a U-Lock style lock for securing bicycles. This style lock is harder to cut or damage.

"When students use a small, thin lock, is it very easy for people to cut through those locks and take the bike," DeHaan said.

GVPD encourages students to register their bikes with the police department, DeHaan said.

"If a bike is not registered with us, it is very hard to track it down," DeHaan said. "By registering bikes, we can identify stolen material and use our resources to locate property."

Students, faculty and staff can register their bikes at www.gvsu.edu/gvpd/bike. The registration page will ask you to enter personal and bike information. The more detailed the description, the better chance of retrieving a stolen bike. After registering, a sticker will arrive in the mail to be placed on a bike.

For a large-scale investigation, GVPD can enter stolen registered bikes into a national computer for law enforcement across the nation. One stolen bikes are entered in this database, if a bike is found anywhere around the U.S., GVPD will be notified and property can be returned to the original owner.

Although there are many materials available for investigating registered, stolen bikes, doing everything possible to avoid bike theft in the first place is much easier, DeHaan said.

"Students need to be locking their bikes," he said. "If you haven't registered your bike with us, it is going to be very difficult to find it."

If your bicycle is stolen while on campus, contact the Pew Campus Security Department right away at (616) 331-6677.

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