8/28/19 Bike in tree

Leaving your bike unlocked can get it stolen or, even worse, stuck in a tree.

The flood of students coming to campus was accompanied by a rise in bike thefts, according to Purdue Police Department Capt. Song Kang.

Kang said theft is the most prolific crime on campus, with bikes being the most commonly stolen item.

“During the beginning of the school year and the end of the school year,” Kang said, “we have a small spike in thefts.”

Sometimes students leave their bikes unlocked or don’t lock them all the way, Kang said.

Purdue Alternative Transportation Coordinator Aaron Madrid said students should make sure to lock their bikes.

As for the type of lock, Madrid was clear.

“Make sure, first and foremost, don’t buy a cable lock,” he said. “Buy a U-lock.”

Kang said cable locks are much easier to cut than U-locks. In one instance, according to police logs, a bike lock was cut and placed in a tree.

Students shouldn’t lock bikes at places other than bike racks, since sometimes the lock can simply be unlooped, according to Kang.

Madrid also said students shouldn’t leave bikes on academic campus overnight.

Besides those interested in biking, Kang said to avoid buying specialty bikes, which may be more expensive, to discourage theft.

“We really encourage people to get a run-of-the-mill bicycle,” Kang said.

Both Madrid and Kang said students should register their bike with the 529 Garage app, which enters IDs for bikes into a national database.

If a student’s bike is stolen, it can only be returned with some proof of ownership, Madrid said.

Instructions and codes for registering a bike can be found at the PUPD.

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