A continuing challenge at Colorado Mesa University is bike theft. CMU is trying to limit the amount of theft through the addition of bike racks, registering property and student education.
“We are a town in the middle of a city and so, we end up serving as a magnet for dirtbags who are looking to take stuff.” John Marshall, vice president of student services, said.
CMU does education sessions for parents and students to make sure their property is safe. Additionally, the university offers Operation ID. This program is to help with theft on campus and especially in the dorms, and works in conjunction with campus police.
Students wishing to participate in the program go to the campus police substation, located at 1060 Orchard Ave, to fill out forms for registering the model and serial number of their valuables. Without that information it is very hard to recover stolen property or prosecute the offender(s).
As for bikes, Marshall said the best thing to do is lock them up properly at the bike racks.
“We do tell students the types of [bike] locks and what we know is, if you catch a bike thief who is walking around and stealing bikes,” Marshall said. “almost always what they have in their backpack is a pair of cable cutters.”
Because cable cutters are easy to carry and use, cables are not the best form of securing bikes to racks.
“If [CMU students] are locking their bike with a cable lock, you may as well not lock it,” Marshall said.
A steel bike lock is the best lock to have for riding a bike to campus and locking it properly. Steel bike locks ensure bike safety and prevent students from becoming a victim of bike theft.
CMU recognizes that one problem students may face is a lack of spaces on bike racks. In response to the concern, the university has been adding bike racks where there seems to be a need.
“We have put in bike rack after bike rack, in conjunction with student government, RA’s and other organizations saying, ‘hey the bike racks are too crowded, we need more space,’” Marshall said. “It’s happening right now at the engineering building. We went out there the first week and the bike racks were full, perfect, will we get some more.”
There are many ways at CMU to prevent theft on campus. It starts by using programs like Operation ID, using a steel bike lock and locking bikes properly on racks.