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Bike Thefts on Campus
October 07, 2021

Bicycle thefts have increased significantly at Caltech since mid-September, when more students and staff begun returning to campus. In the past few weeks, eight bicycles have been stolen from the campus and the Catalina Graduate Apartments.

The thefts have occurred during both daylight and evening hours. Campus Security has not confirmed descriptions of any suspects.

In response to these thefts, Campus Security has increased both foot and vehicle patrols.

Because of the possibility that the campus is being specifically targeted by bicycle thieves, members of the campus community are advised to take appropriate precautions to secure their bicycles.

Campus security advises the following:

  • The vast majority of bicycles stolen were unlocked, improperly locked, or locked with inadequate locking devices, such as lightweight cables or chains, or lower-quality U-lock devices. It is suggested that bicycle owners ensure that their bicycle is properly secured using a high-quality lock. Bicycling.com has compiled a "best bike locks" list with several options at different price levels: The 17 Best Bike Locks for Security in Every Scenario
  • There is also a bike cage with key-card access available in the Holliston Parking Structure. Bike owners can rent a space for only $50 a year. More information on this program can be found at: https://parking.sites.caltech.edu/commuter-services/biker-info

Additional tips for deterring bicycle theft:

  • Always lock your bicycle through the frame and both wheels to a bicycle parking rack, preferably a rack with a thicker frame.
  • Lock all free parts of the bicycle or take them with you. If you lock only the front wheel, you may return to find the rest of the bike has been stolen. Thieves are often creative in their approach; if they are unable to steal the bike, they may try to take any valuable parts.
  • Always carry a secure lock whenever you might need to leave your bicycle unattended.
  • Leave your bicycle in a visible, well-lit area. Avoid leaving your bicycle locked outside overnight.
  • Always use designated bike racks rather than light poles, railings, benches, or other unsecured objects.

In addition, Campus Security asks for your help in making the campus as safe as possible by taking the following steps:

  • Lock and secure your vehicle when you park.
  • Do not leave valuables or packages in plain view in your vehicle.
  • Report individuals who "tailgate" or enter secure buildings and restricted areas without keys or the proper credentials by slipping in behind someone else.
  • Always be aware of your surroundings and the people around you, day, and night.
  • Trust your instincts. If someone or something makes you feel uneasy, get out or get away.
  • If you feel you are being followed, move to a well-populated or lighted area or building.
  • Contact Security to report any suspicious persons. Do not confront them.
  • If you need emergency help, call x5000 on campus (626) 395-5000 if you are off campus), or call 911.

Thank you for your vigilance,

Caltech Campus Security