Wave of bike thefts hits campus

Wave of bike thefts hits campus

Chelsea Lane

With long walks and busy class schedules, a bike can often be a student’s best friend. But a recent string of bike thefts has left some students without a ride.

Since Sept. 21, 10 bikes have been stolen on campus. Capt. Brandon DeHaan, assistant director of the Department of Public Safety, said most of the bikes were either unlocked or improperly secured, leading police to believe these were “crimes of opportunity.” The bikes were taken from multiple locations, including Mackinac Hall, AuSable Hall, Kliener Commons and several living centers.

One of the theft victims, sophomore Krystal Wilson, said her teal mountain bike was taken outside of Henry Hall on Monday night when she stopped in to the computer lab to print off a paper.

“I always lock my bike up, but of course, (that) night I went into the all-glass computer laboratory in Henry Hall where I could see my bike from inside, so I had just set my bike by the door,” she said. “I was probably in for six minutes. I turn my back and then my bike was gone.”

Wilson described the incident as “disappointing” and said she hopes her bike can still be recovered by police.

“I was just astounded that someone could be so inconsiderate and not think of the other person when they were doing it,” she said. “…These students are just not following the Grand Valley ‘everybody’s-close-knit’ theme.”

Seven of the 10 missing bikes have since been found on campus. DeHaan believes the perpetrators are using the bikes for a short period of time before dumping them once they no longer need them.

“While it may be convenient for someone to engage in that activity, it is in convenient for others and unacceptable to do so,” he said. “We will continue to follow up on leads and ask the community to give us a call if they have any additional info. Stealing bikes is a crime. If a student is responsible, they may face not only criminal sanctions but also sanctions from the Dean’s Office.”

Bike theft has proven to be an ongoing problem at Grand Valley State University. Last year, two students were arraigned on felony charges for stealing six bikes, valued at approximately $3,000 total. The theft ring targeted high-end bikes and the perpetrators used bolt cutters to remove locks.

DeHaan added that DPS encourages all students to purchase bike locks and always keep their bikes secured.

Anyone with information regarding the recent bike thefts may call DPS at (616) 331-3255 or leave information anonymously through the Silent Observer hotline at (877) 877-4536.

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