According to the 2013 Boise State Crime Log, 47 bikes have been stolen so far this year on campus.
Last year, the Boise Police Department reported a dramatic increase in city-wide bike thefts.
According to Rick Rogers, a civilian employee at the Boise Police Department, the beginning of the fall semester corresponds to a high number of bike thefts reported on campus.
Newcomers to campus, including freshmen and transfer students, are often unaware of the extent of the bike theft problem and what they can do to prevent it.
“A bike with a U-lock on it is the least likely to get stolen,”
Rogers said registering bicycles with the police department is a good form of added protection as well, because it ties the bike to the owner.
“Unless your bike is registered, there’s no way to get a recovered bike back to you,” Rogers said.
Bike theft is a highly prevalent form of property crime on college campuses across the country, according to the National Bike
Rogers said bike thieves are known to steal anywhere, anytime, and any day of the week.
Bike theft patterns and focus areas are difficult to determine.
“We look at this issue all the time because it is our biggest problem. Where can we put our time and energy? If it was just the dorm areas, we’d focus there. If it was just the classroom areas, we’d focus there. But it’s not, it’s all over,” Rogers said.
Rogers said there is also not a distinctive trend in the types of bikes that are frequently stolen.
New and old, cheap and expensive models are all targeted by bike thieves.
The only clear trend in bike thefts relates to the type of lock on the bike, if the bike is locked at all.
U-locks help prevent bike theft because they are more heavy duty than a standard cable lock.
“Heavier, solid steel locks, like U-locks, link into a plated steel locking mechanism,” said Kyle Lewis, a junior studying graphic design and marketing who works at the Cycle Learning Center on Campus.
According to Lewis, this makes it difficult for a bike thief to cut through a U-lock as easily or inconspicuously as a cable lock.
“It would take 20 minutes to saw through a U-lock with a hacksaw,” Lewis said, “On the other hand, an experienced bike thief can probably cut through a cable lock in under two minutes with bolt cutters or a pair of pliers.”
The Cycle Learning Center sells U-locks for about $25.
A U-lock at most bike shops in the city runs about $30, according to Lewis, making the Cycle Learning Center one of the most economic options for students in terms of buying the equipment needed to protect their bikes from theft.
Boise law enforcment encourages bike registration citywide.
Students who register their bicycles with the Boise Police Department by Nov 15 will be entered in a drawing with the chance to win a new U-lock for their bike.