Bike Theft Season

As SOU begins the Spring Term, Ashland is experiencing some warmer weather. Unfortunately, along with the temperature increase Campus Public Safety (CPS) is noticing an increase in bike thefts as well.

According to Director of Campus Public Safety, Fred Creek, there have been two bikes stolen from student apartments and family housing within the past three weeks.

Fortunately, to help curb these thefts the Ashland Police Department launched a bait bike program in 2013. This program involves setting out unlocked bicycles around Ashland with electronic tracking devices on them. Since then, bike thefts have decreased dramatically. “The bait bike program is very effective,” said Ashland police Chief Tighe O’Meara. “Although the trend in theft reversed after this program was started, people still have had their bikes stolen.”

According to data received from APD, there were 96 bike thefts in 2015 and 21 bike thefts from the beginning of 2016 until now. “When people are looking to steal bikes, they’ll pass by all the locked ones and go straight for the unlocked ones,” said Chief O’Meara. A simple tip he gives to students is, “lock your bikes.”

The proper way to lock a bike is to secure both tires and the frame, as stated by Removing the seat is also a good idea to prevent any further theft.

Other practical tips for bike owners include:

  1.     Registering your bike through the Ashland Police Department: Bike Registration
  2.     Storing your bike inside at night if possible
  3.     Insuring your bike with a Personal Articles Policy
  4.     Parking your bike Correctly