• Dani Gehr
  • Thu October 06 2016
  • Posted Oct 6, 2016

It is a common saying that the best security to keep your bike from getting stolen is having a rusty, archaic bike. Unfortunately, at Iowa State, where bike theft is rampant, this is not the case.

Just by walking through campus, people can see that biking is a popular mode of transportation for Iowa State students. With bike racks full around every corner, skillful bike thieves have made careers out of stealing bikes of all worths without letting bike locks get in their way.

“It has been indiscriminatory as far as I can tell, from what i’ve heard. I’ve had people get old junker bikes stolen, fancy bikes. I had people have two bikes on a porch––one nice, one crappy and the crappy one gets stolen for whatever reason,” said Erik Jones, who has been the manager and a head mechanic at Bicycle Plus for the past 8 years and has seen a rise in bike theft first hand.

According to Jones, it has been about three or four years since Bicycle Plus has purchased used bikes, a practice they had been doing for about 4 years prior. After a few instances where they unknowingly bought stolen used bikes, they had to change their policy and now won’t even buy back bikes that they have sold. It was around this time that theft really started to pick up.

Jones explained that it used to be Bicycle Plus used to receive about two or three calls a year regarding bike thefts. Now, the shop will receive about 3 or 4 calls just on a Monday dealing with bikes that have been stolen that weekend.

“If somebody really wants to get the bike they’re are getting kind of to a level of professional theft that it doesn’t really matter what you do in a lot of senses,” Jones said.

This is true with even the bike locks that many students probably imagine are pretty indestructible. Jones said that the past two years specifically, bike thieves have become more skillful at cutting locks. The only way for a student to guarantee that their bike will not get stolen is by bringing it up into their dorm or rental property which unfortunately is not an option as most of these properties do not allow this.


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