Occasionally professors in the University of Arizona ask me to speak to their beginning reporting classes as an “expert” about bike-related issues.
In one recent class a student asked me how bad bike theft on campus was — I said I wasn’t positive, but I thought it was worse than campus police thought it was.
To solidify this thought, I asked the students to raise their hand if they had ever had their bike stolen on campus; 10 students raised their hand. Then I asked them to keep their hand raised if they had reported the bike stolen. Only two students kept their hand in the air.
I thought about that when I saw this post in the Arizona Daily Wildcat, the UA’s student newspaper.
Bike found without being reported missing
A female UA student’s bicycle stolen in October 2010 was found near the Main Library late March 6.
A University of Arizona Police Department officer found an unsecured bike on the bike racks north of the Main Library.
A records check on the bike did not show it as stolen, but the officer continued to check the bike.
On the bottom of the bike frame, the officer found two printed telephone numbers.
The officer called the numbers and made contact with the female UA student.
The student’s bike was stolen in October 2010 from the Alpha Epsilon Phi sorority house but she never reported the theft to UAPD.
She described the bike very similarly to the beach cruiser in the officer’s possession and she verified both phone numbers on the bottom of the bike.
The officer then verified that the student still had the key to the U-lock in the bicycle’s front basket.
The officer arranged to meet with the student to verify possession of the bicycle, which could be claimed at UAPD.
No clues or witnesses as to who stole the bike were found.
The students in that class said they didn’t report their bikes stolen because they didn’t think their bikes were worth enough and the police wouldn’t be able to get it back anyway.