Bike theft continues on campus

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ULM student Arun Banjar locks up his bike one night before going to his dorm.

Bikes are a great way to get around campus if students have classes far away or they just want a little more exercise.

Bikes are unfortunately a target of theft, and Amber Baron, a psychology graduate student, said thieves are using extreme methods to take poorly secured bicycles.

“It has progressed to the point where people are cutting off locks with tin snips and bolt cutters to take the students’ bikes,” Baron said.

One device students can use to better secure their bikes is the U-shaped lock.

The U-shaped lock is a bit more expensive than conventional locks. It can be a smart investment for students to keep their bike safe.

This is especially true for students who live on the edge of campus where the majority of thefts occur.

In the past, there has been a spike in bike thefts at the beginning and end of the school year. The ULM Police Department uses almost all of its available officers to find bikes, but they don’t always have the information needed to return the bikes because of a lack of reports. 

Mark Johnson, the assistant director for ULM PD stated, “My cops will find bikes all over this campus and bring them to the Police Department, but since nobody reported it stolen means we’ll never be able to give it back.”

ULM PD urges students to report a stolen bike directly to them.

Alison Brabham, a junior English major, had her bike stolen in the past. Once she reported the theft she said, “ULM PD came to the area it happened, got me to write down everything I could about the situation, got pictures of the bike from me for reference and took the cut lock with them.”

There’s always another option. If students would rather report it through social media, the Police Department has two social media pages: @ULMPD for Facebook and @ULM Police for Twitter.

Both accounts are monitored 24/7 and usually warrants responses in less than 24 hours.

ULM PD is also in the process of creating a free registration for bikes for students on campus and urge students to report any suspicious activity or groups of children on campus late at night.

If a bike is stolen and police do not recover it, students will be discouraged to repurchase for lack of money and in fear of the theft happening again, but if the right measures and security precautions are taken, chances lower of the incident reoccurring. 

Joel Leger, a senior business administration major, had his bike for three years until it was recently stolen right outside his dorm room in Madison Hall.

“It makes me second guess getting a new bike, but I know I will anyway. It’s nice to have a little ride to class early in the morning to get the heart pumping,” Leger said.