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UT Police Gear Up To Prevent Bike Thefts

Updated: Saturday, August 3 2013, 04:08 PM CDT

With a price tag of hundreds perhaps thousands of dollars, a bicycle may be the most expensive item a student brings with them to campus.  And with the fall semester just around the corner, the University of Texas is bracing for a spike in bicycle thefts.  In just a few weeks the population at the University of Texas will explode to 70,000 students and faculty.  And the bad guys will be looking at each one of them as a potential target.

The increasing popularity of bicycles as a mode of transportation-- especially on campus-- is making bikes very popular with thieves.  Bicycle thefts are up nationwide with 1.5 million bicycles stolen every year. But bicycle thefts at UT are down thanks in part to students quickly learning to keep their guard up.  UTPD Crime Prevention Officer Layne Brewster says many first-time students are a little naive, "They leave things in the library or desk and runoff to make copies expecting everything to be there when they get back or ask a total stranger to watch their stuff."

Ashley Chiroyil lost her bike to thieves before and is more careful these days.  She says, "I just make sure I lock it with a u-lock to a secure location."  But there's a trick to it.  Signs at the bike rack recommend you double lock, one lock for the frame and front wheel and a second lock for the rear wheel and any accessories.

UT Police has also invested in GPS-equipped bait bikes.  Just last week two thieves took the bait and were quickly tracked down and arrested.

Another way to stay safe on campus is to subscribe to UTPD's Campus Watch.  Not only will let it let you know what crimes are happening on campus, it tells you what areas to avoid.  Click here for information on how to subscribe.

By Fred Cantu

UT Police Gear Up To Prevent Bike Thefts

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