Bike Thefts

Mason Meyers, Staff Writer

No one knows who’s been stealing bicycles around the Texas A&M University-Commerce campus, but University Police think they’re getting close to cracking the case.

So far this semester, five bicycles have been reported stolen. During the 2014-2015 school year, bicycles were the number one item reported stolen, beating out the previous years’ item: cell phones.

UPD’s Crime Information Officer Jason Bone has experience dealing with these bicycle thefts, and said sometimes they do turn up and sometimes they don’t.

“We find a lot of bikes on the other side of campus from where they were stolen,” Bone said. “Some kid will get out of class and not want to walk, take an unlocked bike and ride it back to their dorm and leave it. So we do recover some of these bikes, but there are some that we never get back.”

Bone has been looking into the thefts and thinks they may have found at least one of the individuals responsible. A surveillance camera outside of Whitley Hall caught a man cutting the chain off a bicycle and riding away in the middle of the night.

“This particular individual was very selective in what he stole,” Bone said. “He walked past a lot of unlocked bicycles, picked one out, cut the chain, and off he went.

“Obviously, this [the surveillance footage] doesn’t solve the case for us, but it does tell us a bit about what we need to look for,” Bone said. “In this case, we’re looking for a white male who goes out in the middle of the night.” The man in the video is also wearing a white baseball cap.

However, while this person is responsible for one of the thefts, Bone does not think that all of the thefts are being committed by one individual.

“I’m not going to go out on a limb and say they [the bikes] are all being stolen by one person, but a lot of the high-end bikes are probably being targeted by one person,” he said.

The bicycles that have been stolen range price-wise from $200 to one bike that is worth $1,800.

In order to help prevent further thefts and to help with solving the case should a bicycle be stolen, UPD suggests that owners get a good metal lock for the bicycle, and register the bike with UPD, providing the serial number, a picture of the bicycle, and pictures of any marks on the bicycle that could be considered unique.

Also, if a victim sees a bicycle that looks like theirs, UPD recommends don’t take it, but call them immediately.