The Fall semester demonstrated an increase in reported bike thefts on campus.
Scott Wanzer, director of campus safety, said that campus saftey members are not sure if it is an increase in the number of bikes that have been taken from students or an increase in the number of reports students have made.
Wyman Brewer, freshman engineering major at John Brown University, researched the problem of bike theft on campus. Brewer said he believes a lot more bikes are being stolen and that the thefts surprised him for such a small school.
Brewer said that many bikes are also borrowed.
Wanzer agreed with this statement.
“Often times they will find bikes across campus or if they catch someone riding a stolen bike they will say that they took it so that they could get around campus faster,” Wanzer said.
Wanzer said that even though JBU is a Christian school with good people, the University should still take precautions like locking up. He said, “Even if we were all believers, there are still some who will be tempted to take a bike.”
Wanzer said that students can prevent their bikes being stolen by locking them up. He said that he is only aware of one time that a bike that was locked up was stolen.
He said that students should also know their serial number so that if their bike is stolen they can prove that belonged to them. Brewer agreed with this statement and said he knew of people who were unable to recover their bike from the police department because they did not have the correct documentation.
Wanzer said documentation is necessary because even if there is a bike that matches an exact description they cannot be certain because many of the same make and model are produced.
He said they are considering starting a bicycle registration program similar to the car registration so students would have the option to include their serial number.
The program would be optional and provide people with a place to record their bike information if they wanted to, and the recorded info would be valuable if a bike was stolen.
This problem is not unique to John Brown University. According to the University of California at Berkley Police Department, bike theft is a tremendous problem on campuses throughout the United States. If a student’s bike is stolen they can report it online at http://www.jbu.edu/campus_safety/report_incident/self/ by filling out a form.