Auraria Police arrested a man suspected of trying to steal a bicycle Sept. 13 outside the southwest corner of the Science Building.
Detective Sgt. Jason Mollendor said the suspect, whose name was not released, was attempting to cut through a cable bike lock when Auraria Police approached him. Police surrounded the suspect, handcuffed him and then questioned him. The suspect has been charged with attempted theft.
“[This incident] is typical of the types of bicycle thefts we regularly see,” Mollendor said. “Theft is undoubtedly the biggest issue facing our campus.”
He also said there have already been 60 bicycle thefts this year, and some of the bicycles can cost between $500 and $2,500.
According to the Denver Police Department’s 2011 Strategic Plan, bike thefts in District 6, which includes Auraria, increased 2.3 percent from 2010 to 2011, and one of the department’s goals was to decrease the volume of these crimes.
“The bicycles are our students’ transportation to and from school,” Mollendor said. “I think because people feel so safe, they don’t always take the precautions necessary to protect their bicycle.”
To combat theft, Auraria Police recommends students switch traditional cable locks for solid steel locks or U-locks.
“With a pair of wire cutters or bolt cutters the thieves can cut through even the thickest cable locks in 3-5 seconds,” Mollendor said. “I know that sounds quick, and it is. We have watched them do this. It is important to remember that the bicycle thieves that victimize our community are professionals — this is what they do.”
Chris Little, an MSU Denver junior, rode his bike to campus on Thursday, just after the attempted bike theft. He spoke with the officers that were near the Science Building bike racks about ways to ensure the security of his property.
“I’ll get [a U-lock] tonight,” Little said, after learning how easily cable locks can be destroyed.
More than just changing locks, Auraria Police highly recommend recording the bike’s serial number, as it is nearly impossible to recover a stolen bicycle without it.
According to the city of Denver’s website, cyclists can register their bikes online to make locating them easier in the event of loss or theft. To register your bicycle, visit http://www.denvergov.org/bikeprogram/BicyclinginDenver/BikeSafety/RegisterYourBike/tabid/442270/Default.aspx.
With the new east/west bike lane on Curtis Street, the first of its kind on campus, biking at Auraria has become more accessible and connected to downtown.
“It is hard to tell if there will be a substantial increase of bikes on campus, but it allows for easier ingress and egress through campus,” Mollendor said. “The effects on bicycle safety on campus are yet to be seen. There is always a risk when a bicycle lane transects our established pedestrian malls.”
For those using the bike lane, Mollendor said it is vital to follow the posted signage and watch for pedestrians.
“Individuals caught riding their bicycles on the pedestrian malls face City and County of Denver traffic tickets that cost approximately $70,” Mollendor said. “Bicycles locked up to trees, rails and signs will be impounded by the Auraria Police Department.”
People: Jason Mollendor