Suspects identified for theft of over 20 bicycles

GVL/Kevin Sielaff
GVPD officer Minh Lien works within his patrol car Sept. 13 outside of Campus Life Night.

Kevin Sielaff

GVL/Kevin Sielaff GVPD officer Minh Lien works within his patrol car Sept. 13 outside of Campus Life Night.

Hannah Lentz

Since August of 2015, over 20 bicycles have been reported stolen from various locations on Grand Valley State University’s campus. 

Two suspects have been identified for stealing the majority of bikes from not only the GVSU campus, but also the surrounding campuses of Aquinas college and Kendall College. The suspect’s names have not been released yet as they are still going through the proper court proceedings. 

Upon questioning, the suspects revealed that they were targeting high-cost bikes that they could sell for parts to pawn shops. The majority of stolen bikes were locked, however, they were locked with low-quality locks that were easy to cut through. 

“It is important that bikes are locked with a U-Lock style lock for securing bicycles,”  said Capt. Brandon DeHaan of GVPD. “This style lock is harder to cut or damage and deters bicycle theft before it happens.”

After the suspects were apprehended, about half of the stolen bikes were returned to their owners once they were collected from pawn shops and other locations. The police are organizing a continuing investigation to try and find the bikes that remain missing. 

“We are seeking restitution for these bikes that have been stolen from their owners and we will be pressing charges for these thefts,” DeHaan said. 

While many types of property theft have declined in recent years, bicycle theft is on the rise according to FBI statistics. It is estimated that over 1.5 million bicycles are stolen every year. According to the national bike registry, the biggest place where bike theft occurs is on college campuses. For example, over half of the property crime in the University of California involves the theft of bicycles.

With the new school year quickly approaching, the GVPD encourages students and staff to register their bikes with the university to increase the likelihood of finding a bike if it is stolen. Bikes can be registeres at The registration page will ask you to enter personal and bike information. The more detailed the description, the better chance of retrieving a stolen bike. After registering, a sticker will arrive in the mail to be placed on a bike.

For a large-scale investigation, GVPD can enter stolen registered bikes into a national computer for law enforcement across the nation. One stolen bikes are entered in this database, if a bike is found anywhere around the U.S., GVPD will be notified and property can be returned to the original owner.

“The most important thing when it comes to keeping your bike safe is making sure you have an appropriate lock and are aware of the location of your bike,” DeHaan said.