Students aren't correctly locking their bikes and are making bike theft more prevalent on campus. Photo courtesy: Marissa Stacy

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Students aren’t correctly locking their bikes, making bike theft more prevalent on campus. Photo by Marissa Stacy

The TCU Police Department says students need to be using a metal U-lock to stop bike theft on campus.

There have been six bikes stolen this semester, according to Sgt. Stephen Hall. Students are encouraged to register their bike online with the police department.

“The best way to prevent it from happening is to get the ‘U’ shape metal locks,” said Hall. “The chain locks and the cable locks seem to be easily cut, and, to my knowledge, we haven’t had any bicycles stolen with a ‘U’ shaped lock on it.”

Most students use the wire locks that cut easily with wire cutters, but as pictured the metal ‘U’ locks are hard to break and make it theft less likely to happen. Photo by Marissa Stacy

Once reported, the police department looks at surveillance cameras and then a website to see if the bike is in a pawn shop or resale shop.

“The best thing for a student to do is to record the serial number because occasionally the bicycles do get pawned,” said Hall. “We check the cameras to see if we can identify the suspect from the camera, which doesn’t happen often, but it has happened.”

Bobby Neil, a junior economics and geography double major, had his bike stolen at the beginning of the school year. He said the police have been working hard to locate his bike.

“After I called TCU PD, they said they had a report about a stolen bike from that same location, and I assumed it was mine,” said Neil. “They came out pretty quickly, in about 10 minutes or so from when I called.”

It is difficult to notice that people are stealing these bikes on campus because most perpetrators wear a backpack to blend in with the student body and can cut off the chain in a matter of seconds, according to Hall.

“My bike was over at Moncrief,” Neil said. “It was taken during the day at around 10 a.m., but people were around, and in the surveillance video there were plenty of people walking around, but of course they didn’t think it was anything suspicious.”

When missing a bike, one option to report it is to call the police department from the site where the bike was stolen. Another is to go to the police station and report the incident directly.

Victims could also anonymously report through the police department website. However, the officers will not know who to reach out to after they get the report. To reach the police department, call 817-257-7777.