After the UT Police Department noticed a spike in bike thefts this fall, they are recommending students register their bikes to keep them safe.
UTPD spokesperson Noelle Newton said 54 bikes have been reported as stolen since August, 24 of which were reported in October.
“We do see an increase of bike thefts during the fall, but I’m not entirely sure if it’s related to an influx of bikes after students return to school,” UTPD officer Roberto Rodriguez said. “Thieves see bikes as a target of opportunity, and it’s normally the ones that have the easiest bike locks they can break or cut.”
Rodriguez said he recommends students register bikes through the Parking and Transportation Services website. He said this allows stolen bikes to be recovered using their specific serial number if they are stolen.
“If a student has had their bike stolen but cannot remember their serial number, we can still get info,” Rodriguez said. “We do check regularly for unsecured bikes and try to contact their owners. If you are not going to use (your bike), walk by it a lot, check the locks to make sure they have not been tampered with, and if you see something, call us.”
PTS associate director Blanca Gamez said when a student says their bike is stolen, it could have actually been impounded.
“If a bike was impounded, it was parked incorrectly on a rail, a pole or blocking a door,” Gamez said. “If a bike ends up actually missing and is registered, all of that info is entered into a national database so police can see it, and pawnshops can know not to accept it.”
Gamez said it is also important people lock the base of their bike and not just the tires.
“By only locking their tire, the thief can take the whole base, which is the most expensive part of a bicycle,” Gamez said. “They can then pay a few more bucks to replace the missing tire.”
Corporate finance sophomore Nicole Domingo said two of her friends had their bikes stolen, and one of the bikes was stolen through its back tire.
“My friends’ bikes were stolen not even a month ago, so I’ve been pretty lucky to not have mine stolen,” Domingo said. “I have two kinds of locks on my bike, and the first thing I did when I got my bike was register it.”