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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UAPD combats bike theft

To help curb the yearly back-to-school spike in bike theft, UAPD is promoting an education program around campus to help cyclists avoid theft and citations.

“”We always see an increase in bicycle theft at the beginning of the year,”” said Bethany Wilson, a crime prevention officer with the University of Arizona Police Department, in regards to students’ return to campus. It is the perfect time for thieves on the prowl for bikes to go “”shopping.””

There are about 10,000 to 11,000 bicycles on UA’s campus on any given weekday, according to a bulletin released by Anthony Daykin, the chief of police for UAPD. “”So the potential to be injured here, because of the high number of bikers, is worse,”” Wilson said.

Parking and Transportation Services, with whom UAPD often collaborates, helped fund the educational program. They are one of the numerous departments on campus working to subdue bicycle theft.  

“”One of the things we’re doing right now is the new bike valet program that provides an extra level of security for students that want to park their bike,”” said Bill Davidson, marketing specialist for Parking and Transportation Services. “”It’s a fenced-in area where you can park your bike, kind of like a car valet.””

The idea for both the valet parking program and the education program came after bicycles were being stolen from racks near the residence halls around campus. Even though most of these bikes were locked, thieves were still finding ways to cut through bolts and chains using bolt cutters.

Jose Bermudez, a UAPD officer, says the department has been reminding students to register their serial number with Parking and Transportation Services.

“”Know your bike’s serial number along with the tag number you get,”” Bermudez said. “”If your bike is stolen and recovered, we can match that owner to their bike if it is registered in the system.””

When it comes to citations for traffic violations, UAPD is, in some cases, even stricter than off-campus law enforcement. “”We cite (bicyclists) the same way that we would cite a vehicle, so the ticket prices are the same,”” Wilson said.

According to Wilson, a citation for failing to stop at a stop sign while riding a bicycle is $220 on campus. Tucson Police Department will usually cite the same violation for $200. “”I mean, do you really want to spend that?”” Wilson said.

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