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Jeff Tennant, left, and Sondra Morris lock up their bikes near the University of Colorado bike station on Thursday. The campus saw a spike in bike thefts this week.
Marty Caivano
Jeff Tennant, left, and Sondra Morris lock up their bikes near the University of Colorado bike station on Thursday. The campus saw a spike in bike thefts this week.

Bike registry

To register your bike, call 303-492-6486, ext. 5.

If your bike is stolen

Immediately call CUPD’s non-emergency number 303-492-6666 with a description of the bike and the location where it was taken.

CUPD will need a serial number from your bike or your bike registration with the university if available.

If you witness a bike theft on campus, call 911 immediately to describe the incident to campus police. Do not take action yourself.

Source: CUPD

The University of Colorado saw an unusual spike in bike thefts this week, leaving some students feeling defenseless against campus thefts.

While CU generally sees more bike thefts than other off-campus locations, a reported seven bikes stolen from campus Tuesday is an exceptionally high number, said Molly Bosley, spokeswoman for the CU police department.

“We did see a rash of bike thefts on campus this week,” Bosley said. “We did see one bike theft on Monday, but Tuesday was the worst.”

CU sophomore Annie Davis said she’s disappointed to hear that so many bikes have been stolen but she feels confident that her lock will hold up if her bike is tampered with.

“I use my bike all the time, so I can’t just stop bringing it to campus,” she said. “I lock it up as good as I can, and I think if you do that every time you park it there’s a good chance it won’t be stolen.”

A 2008 analysis showed CU has an average of 7,200 bikes on campus every day, Bosley said. The large quantity of bikes in one location makes CU an easy target.

“One problem we find with bike theft is the openness of the campus,” Bosley said.

Bosley said that while all eight stolen bikes were locked, only one of them had a U lock, which is recommended by campus police because it’s harder to break.

Police also suggest that students register their bikes with the university, so it might be found again if stolen.

CU freshman Liz Smith said she doesn’t know what more she can do to protect her bike on campus, as she wrapped a cable lock around her bike at the University Memorial Center racks on Thursday.

“I ride my bike to class every day and I always lock it up, but I guess that’s not always enough,” she said.

Smith said her roommate’s bike was stolen this week outside of their dorm, from the same bike rack she uses every night, along with several other freshmen.

She said she doesn’t use a U lock, because they’re too expensive.

CU police said they’re adding extra patrols to keep a closer eye on bike racks around campus.

Although there are no leads for suspects at this time, police are looking through surveillance tapes in hopes of getting a glimpse of what they suspect is a group of thieves. Depending on the value of the bike, perpetrators can be charged with either a misdemeanor or a class four felony.

The bikes were stolen from racks at various locations on campus, including the University Memorial Center, Ketchum Arts and Sciences, Norlin Library and the Guggenheim Geography Building.

CU geology professor Joe Smyth, who’s looking for an apartment after losing his Gold Hill home in the Fourmile Fire, said he doesn’t mind leaving his bike parked at a rack outside during the day, but he often brings it inside to his office after dark.

“I have a good lock, and I make sure it’s locked outside all the time,” Smyth said. “But I don’t usually leave it outside at night. I bring it in when I can.”

Most students, though, aren’t allowed to leave bikes anywhere but the provided, outdoor bike racks.

CU senior Rachel Pregont, whose tandem bike was stolen last year from her off-campus home, registered one of her bikes Thursday and said she would register the other two next time she rode them to campus.

She said that while she was lucky enough to find her stolen bike only a week later, she is taking more precautions to prevent thieves from striking again.

“I’m making sure I’m locking my bike up better now,” Pregont said. “It’s worth the extra time it takes to make sure it’s secure and protected.”

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