Keep your bike safe from thieves

To: UCSC Community

From: Nader Oweis, UCSC chief of police

Bike theft is the second most common form of larceny in Santa Cruz behind vehicle break-ins and is also a problem on campus.
In November, the UC Santa Cruz Police Department received seven reports for stolen bicycles. There were additional reports during the holiday break. 
As we start of the winter quarter, I want to offer some tips and suggestions to help keep your bicycle safe.
  • Always lock your bike through the frame and wheel (rear is best). 
  • Lock your bike using a high quality U-lock. 
  • Lock to a permanent bike rack or a fixed object. 
  • Lock in a well-lit area with a lot of foot traffic and where there are other bikes. 
  • Always check your lock before leaving your bike to be sure you have secured it properly. 
  • Read all signs in the area before locking your bike. 
  • Consider bringing an inexpensive bike to campus. They tend to be a less likely target.
  • Lock your bike to itself by simply locking the front wheel to the frame. A bike 'locked' like this can easily be lifted and carried away. 
  • Lock your bike to items that can be easily cut or that can be lifted once you've locked it. 
  • Lock your bike to anything illegal, such as stairway handrails. Also, remember to [license]( your bike. If your bike is stolen, and it was not registered, the chances of recovering it are drastically reduced.
Thieves are less likely to steal bikes that are registered because they know the serial numbers have been entered into a national computer database.
Bikes can be registered for free at the Recreation Department during regular hours and at the drop-in maintenance clinic from 2 to 5 p.m. on Thursdays at the East Field House. Bikes can also be registered with the Santa Cruz Police at its station at 155 Center St. or at Santa Cruz fire stations at 711 Center St., 1103 Soquel Ave., and 355 Younglove Ave. The city of Santa Cruz's finance department also can register bikes at 809 Center St., Room 101.
If your bike is stolen, report the theft as soon as possible. If your bike was stolen on university property, report it to the UCSC Police Department immediately by calling (831) 459-2231 ext 1. If your bike was stolen in Santa Cruz city, report it to the Santa Cruz Police Department by calling (831) 471-1131.
Also, be sure to note your bike's brand name, model, serial number, and value, as officers need this information. Taking pictures of the bike also helps bike owners prove ownership and track stolen bikes.
Keep a lookout for your own bike. Many times people are able to find their own bikes. If you find your bike, call the police department immediately.
If you happen to witness a bike theft, either by force or stealth, dial 911 immediately and inform the dispatcher where you are and what is happening. Try to remember as much as you can about the suspect for police reports. Reporting a theft helps give law enforcement, public officials, and property owners the most accurate picture of where thefts occur in our community. This will aid in prevention and enforcement efforts.