A rise in bike thefts on campus this summer has continued into the fall.
Department of Public Safety Cpt. Russell Shaw said the main cause of this trend is the ease of breaking some bike locks with a relatively small bolt cutter.
“Our biggest problem is people using cheaper locks, and that is what’s getting defeated in most of these bike thefts,” Shaw said. “Whether it’s some kind of cable lock, a chain lock – any basic chain cutter will be able to defeat them.”
Shaw added that stealing bikes can produce relatively quick money. Of the bikes stolen, Shaw estimated their worth ranging from $75 to $750.
One of the main difficulties DPS is facing while attempting to combat this trend is the speed of a theft.
“They can take out these small bolt cutters and 15, 20 seconds later the bike is gone,” Shaw said. “We have caught a couple people in the last couple months, but we have no idea how many people are out there.”
In an attempt to end the rising number of thefts, DPS began telling students to invest in the Kryptonite-brand “U-Lock,” which is available for purchase through DPS for $25. Additional locks are also available at parking services. However, Shaw said that many students have not attached their locks correctly to the main frame of the bike.
“We highly suggest that the kids come in and purchase these locks because they are so much safer,” Shaw said. “We have had some bikes taken where the lock was attached to the front tire, but the front tire can be taken off the bike. In another incident, we have had someone attach a bike to parking sign, which was then pulled out of the ground and then could just slide right off.”
Arianna D’Isola, a freshman in the College of Health Sciences, came from a small town and feared her bike would be stolen at Marquette’s urban campus.
“Actually, I decided not to bring my bike because I was worried about all the bike thefts around campus,” D’Isola said.
Lincoln Rice, a lecturer in the department of theology who also rides his bike around the Marquette campus, said he is not happy with the idea of thefts occuring on a college campus because of their health and environmental costs.
“I have not yet gotten a U-Lock, but my bike is not as nice as others on campus,” Rice said. “I do have a friend who graduated over the summer whose bike was stolen. It was a nice bike, but it did not have a U-Lock. I hope that people call campus security immediately if they see someone near a bicycle with bolt cutters.”
Students are also encouraged to utilize the permanent bicycle storage in the 16th Street Structure, where there are also spaces available for temporary use.