Police warn against bike theft

Have you been a victim of bicycle theft? Do you know someone who has? Chances are, you or someone you know has.Bicycle theft is an all too common crime of opportunity. 

Maybe you forgot to lock your bike, maybe you parked it for “just a minute,” maybe you only locked the front wheel, or maybe your cable was inadequate and easily cut. If you spent the money on a really great bike, or were fortunate enough to receive a really nice bike as a gift, it only makes sense to secure it properly with a sturdy lock.

The bicycle theft problem at Sonoma State is not unlike other universities, because thieves know there are thousands of bicycles at universities. Most of the bicycle thefts reported are of unlocked bicycles, or bicycles locked with small, thin, less expensive cables. Sonoma State Police Services urge you to secure your bicycle with a sturdy U-style lock (Kryptonite U-style locks are recommended). Seldom theft reports are taken where the owner properly used this type of lock (see picture: lock not just through the tire). 

This summer, use the following additional suggestions:

* Secure your bike lock to the frame of your bicycle and to the rack. Beware of locking the bike to items that can easily be cut, broken, removed, or to other bikes. 

* Bicycles secured to stairwells, trees, or other non-designated places may be confiscated if the bike is blocking handicapped access or is a safety hazard. 

* Many bicycles are reported stolen after residents return from the spring break. Storing your bicycle inside your residence (making sure you keep pathways to the outside clear) during this time will reduce the likelihood that your bike will be stolen. Don’t forget to always lock your windows and doors, too!

* You can register your bicycle at any time for free! Not all campuses offer this as a free service. Bike registration is a great tool to reunite a bike with the owner if it is recovered. 

* If you see anyone suspicious on campus, please report this activity to Police Services at 707-664-4444.

* If you have any questions, please feel free to speak to an officer or the police dispatcher, any time day or night. Or contact Officer Wilde at 707-664-4444.

Eric Wilde is a police officer at the Sonoma State University Police Department.