Marty Caivano
Hugh Hartigan, a junior at the University of Colorado, locks up his bike outside the visual arts complex. Bicycle theft has dropped this year.
Bike thefts, by the numbers
2008: 188
2009: 183
2010: 326
2011: 136
Source: CU Police records

University of Colorado is considering putting an indoor bike rack on the Boulder campus to better protect students, faculty and staff bicycles from theft, university officials said Wednesday.

Cmdr. Robert Axmacher of the CU Police Department said the discussions are still in the early stages and no decisions have been made, including if — or when — the facility would be built.

“There are lots of possible prevention strategies and the facility is just one that’s been talked about,” Axmacher said.

Jena Cafiero, a spokeswoman for CU’s Parking and Transportation Services, said some possible locations have been scouted, but there are currently no plans for the building.

A university policy requires all new campus construction to include a bike rack. Cafiero said it’s possible the facility could be included with the construction of a new building on campus.

Bike thefts are the most common crime on the CU-Boulder campus, said CU Police spokesman Ryan Huff.

In 2010, bike thefts on campus jumped to a record number with 326 bikes reported stolen, according to records from campus police. Since January, 136 bikes have been reported stolen from the campus — less than half of the previous year.

Huff said the decrease is due to directed patrols and arrests made over the past two years — 14 in 2010 and three this year.

Axmacher said he believes those arrested are responsible for a large number of the bikes stolen last year because of the drop in thefts following the arrests.

The penalties for bike theft can range from fines to prison time, Huff said, depending on the value of the bike and the suspect’s previous record.

“Word has gotten out that the University of Colorado is not a good place to steal bikes,” Huff said.

Computer thefts, including laptops and tablets, have increased from 37 in 2010 to 44 in 2011, according to police records.

Huff said some thefts can be prevented through basic safety tips, like not leaving items unattended and using a good lock when parking a bike on campus.

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