As the weather warms up, more people have been bringing their bikes out of storage. With that has come an increase in damaged or stolen bikes. Interestingly enough though, most of these crimes are going unreported.
On April 2, The Equinox was notified that KSC senior Addison Jones had posted to Facebook that her bike had been vandalized outside of Monadnock Hall. We reached out to her and she explained that her bike had been locked to a bike rack outside of the hall and when she came out around 9 p.m., “it was on the ground and the front wheel was bent, like a potato chip.” She said she could not even ride it back home.
She also said there was a black bike outside of the dining commons that had been there for about two weeks. Someone had stolen the seat and kicked in the back tire. The bike was removed from the rack just a day or two after the interview, but she assumed the owner had abandoned it since it was no longer rideable.
Jones never contacted Campus Safety though because she said she had her bike stolen last semester and said, “The only thing they can do is keep an eye out for it.”
Then on April 24, The Equinox was notified of another Facebook post regarding a missing bike. This time, it was first-year Lydia Hurley, who said her bike was taken from the Living and Learning Commons bike rack. She said she had not locked it up, but she ended up finding it on a bike rack on campus just a few days later. Hurley also said she had not contacted Campus Safety about the theft.
The Equinox then reached out to Campus Safety about the protocol they have in place when someone reports their bike missing. Assistant Director of Campus Safety Leonard Crossman said they always generate an incident report and get all the bike info. While they make their rounds, they check the racks. He said oftentimes when people take a bike, they ride it to another place on campus and they are able to retrieve them. Bikes, he said, “are probably the most common thing stolen on campus.”
He said a lot of times, people will bring in abandoned bikes to Marcus McCarroll, an employee of KSC’s Green Bikes. Crossman said bikes are also recovered in that way because he always looks to make sure the bikes he has received have not been reported stolen through the Campus Safety logs.
These logs, however, show a different story than what is being portrayed on Facebook. Through Facebook, The Equinox was able to find three bikes that had been damaged or stolen. Crossman searched for bike-related incidents for the entire semester and said, “In our logs, starting in January up until now, we’ve had only one report and it was missing from the student center. It was a black BMX bike.” None of the bikes The Equinox was told about fit that description.
Campus Safety recommended their page on the Keene State College (KSC) website for a few tips on how to keep bikes from being stolen. The site first asks that anyone on campus with a bike should register it with the Keene Police Department. Registration can be done online or at the Campus Safety Office and is free. This way, if a stolen bike is ever recovered around town, police know who the owner is and can get it back to them. Campus Safety also asks that people always use a lock on their bike. The site recommend it be at least 5/8” in diameter and have a strong padlock. Campus Safety can be contacted for a list of hardware stores that carry locks with these requirements.
Students should also contact Campus Safety with any complaints or reports of lost or damaged bikes. If no one calls and reports, Campus Safety officers do not know there is a problem that needs to be addressed.
Alyssa Salerno can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org