Sgt. Matt Bowman of the University of California Police Department says that in the 12 years that he has worked for the UCPD, bike theft has become the biggest crime. But how do you try to catch a bike thief or a group of thieves on a college campus where almost everyone rides a bike?
Bowman says that his department has finally come up with a great solution for catching both the organized crime units that steal high-end bikes, and the opportunistic thief who just steals a bike when he is too lazy to walk.
“It is still the most prolific crime that happens all over campus and all over I.V. with high-end bikes and ones of much less value,” Bowman said. “It is sometimes done by organized people that obviously come in and work our community and sometimes by the random drunk who doesn’t want to walk back to the residence halls.”
The solution to this theft, which is considered a felony by the UCPD, is the decoy bike – a bike that has a hidden GPS tracker installed, that will lead police to the thief’s home or an organized crime unit’s bike warehouse.
The UCPD plans on leaving these decoy bikes on or near campus and using an easy to break lock or no lock at all, to encourage both the professional bike thieves and the opportunists to take the bait. Hopefully by knowing that there are decoys in the area, the bike theft will decrease drastically as not too many people will want the felony arrest record for stealing a bike.
(Via Daily Nexus)