Thieves target college cyclists
Reporter: Corinne Hautala
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A warning for student bicyclists, lock up your bike or prepare to find a new way to school.
With upwards of 14,000 University of Arizona students riding their bike to campus, UAPD Sgt. Juan Alvarez, said it is a prime target for bike thieves.
“If someone's intent is on committing the theft of a bicycle this is the place to come,” warned Sgt. Alvarez.
Sgt. Alvarez tells 9OYS crooks looking to make a buck off of bike parts are a concern.
“We do make arrests of people stealing bikes,” stated Sgt. Alvarez. “We make numerous arrests.”
However, the UA is seeing a drop in bike thefts. According to numbers provided to 9OYS, 427 bikes were reported stolen on campus in 2009. In 2010 that number dropped to 389 and in 2011 it fell to 225.
Sgt. Alvarez credits the drop to student safety programs and the continual effort to get a lock on every bicycle.
There is also an option for those without a lock or those who want an extra set of eyes on their ride. The UA offers free bike valet.
There are also other efforts to protect bikes on campus, which Sgt. Alvarez wasn’t able to discuss on camera.
“We do run, certain times of the year, operations to try to prevent bike thefts,” he said, “but I'm not going to go into the details of exactly what we do, because that would give the person out there who's coming to commit a crime of a bicycle theft something to look for and maybe try to stay away from that.”
Students can register their bike, so if it is stolen and found police can track down the owner.