Bike safety a priority since thefts
Bike rack outside Bausher Place, where some of the thefts have occurred. (Sam Royka/The Vista)

Bike safety a priority since thefts

Since early August, there have been six or seven bike thefts on campus, said Jeff Harp, executive director of Public Safety and chief of police at UCO. 

“We are keeping a close eye on campus and bike racks,” said Harp, mentioning that police are checking security camera footage when bike thefts are reported.

Harp urged students to report any suspicious behavior on campus to UCO Police. 

A motivating factor for the thefts may be that people are taking the bikes to sell on social media or to part out to sell or fix other bikes, Harp said. 

“For some people, the $50 they make off a bike might be worth it,” he said. 

Buying a good lock is a great place to start when keeping a bike safe, Harp said. Harp recommended a steel U lock, one that cannot easily be cut with bolt cutters or lockpicked. This is the same kind that comes with the Bum-A-Bike rental at UCO, free with a UCO ID. 

Harp urged students to consider “protecting a $400 bike with a $50 lock,” mentioning that cheap bike locks can easily be lock-picked or cut. The UCO Police suspect that thieves are bringing bolt cutters onto campus. 

Harp recommended locking your bike through the steel frame rather than through the front tire, which can be easily removed. Bikes have been stolen and the tire left behind as well, he said. 

Proper bike parking is on a bike rack, Harp said, mentioning not to lock a bike to a tree or pole. He also said not to lock it to another bike, as police will cut the lock and impound the bike.

Bikes are available via UCO’s Central Cycle Bum-A-Bike service. They have around 70 bicycles in various styles, and bikes may be checked out for up to 14 days.  

The Bum-a-bike checkout form is available online, and more information may be found in Bausher Place 201.

In addition, bike owners may note there are five bicycle repair stations on campus. 

Information about thefts may be reported to police@uco.edu or by calling the main office at 405-974-2345. 

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