A couple stories from the Arizona Daily Star today.
First, Becky Pallack reports that the number of bike thefts jumped from 332 in 2008 to 427 in 2009.
In talking with students, many bike thefts go unreported because they figure they won’t get their bikes back. I think this number is artificially low.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
Bike theft was at the highest level in at least five years at the University of Arizona last year, an annual crime statistics report shows.
People reported 427 stolen bikes last year.
“It’s hard to say why. I can tell you the reason people steal bikes is they’re so easy to turn around and sell to support a drug habit,” said Sgt. Juan Alvarez, a UA Police Department spokesman.
Police recommend that students register their bike’s serial number, get a bike lock and maybe even use two locks, and lock your bike in a public area where people might spot suspicious activity, he said.
Bike theft is the third-most commonly reported crime on campus, behind other thefts and alcohol violations.
The second post is an editorial from the Star saying they are happy the police are crackinf down on cyclists at the UA.
Here is an excerpt from the editorial:
Traversing the University of Arizona campus and surrounding neighborhoods can be an exercise in quick reflexes, incredulity (yes, that person did just ride her bike facing oncoming traffic, blow through a stop sign and ride up onto the sidewalk still going the wrong way) and nerve.
It is welcome news, then, that campus police are focusing on bicycle safety and citing people for infractions.
Officers with the UA Police Department have spent September giving wayward bicyclists warnings – but now the enforcement phase has begun and the tickets will be for real.
This shouldn’t come as a huge surprise, but bike riders must heed the same traffic laws that car drivers do, and violations can mean a large fine – UAPD’s Jose Bermudez told KVOA Channel 4 that a ticket for running a stop sign can cost about $220 – and points on your driver’s license.
Nabbing errant bike riders might not seem like a high-priority task to many police agencies. But on a campus of upwards of 35,000 people where thousands zip around on two wheels, bike safety must be a priority.
What say you?