Bike thefts down as anti-theft initiative continues

URBANA, Ill. – Bicycle thefts are down in the first half of the fall semester as the University of Illinois Police Department continues an initiative to prevent thefts and increase the quality of life on campus.

From Aug. 23 through Oct. 9, only 13 bicycle thefts were reported to University Police. That is fewer reports than the same time period for four of the past five years.

Two of the thefts reported involved the University Police Department’s anti-theft bikes, which are designed to help police track and identify bicycle thieves. The bikes are strategically placed at campus locations most frequently targeted by thieves. Using a combination of GPS technology and security cameras, police are able to track the bicycles in real time to identify thieves.

Bicycle theft is a common issue on college campuses, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is no exception. Many students rely on bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. Losing a bicycle could be a major disruption in students’ lives and a financial burden.

“Bicycle theft is a common problem on college campuses, and we’re not alone,” said Executive Director of Public Safety and Chief of Police Craig Stone. “By using creative, proactive crime prevention techniques like our anti-theft bikes, we can improve the quality of campus life for our students, faculty, staff and visitor.”

The bicycles reported stolen in the first half of the fall semester represent more than $4,000 worth of property, and police will continue to be proactive in preventing thefts. However, there are a few easy ways campus community members can protect their own property:

  • Use a good U-lock. Cable locks are easy to break, and thieves target those bicycles. By making a small investment in a high-quality lock, your bicycle will be better protected.
  • Register your bicycle at Registering your bicycle makes it easier to recover if it is ever lost or stolen. Spending just a few minutes now to register your bike can save a lot of trouble later.