Bike thefts on the rise

By: Britni McDonald Email
By: Britni McDonald Email

POSTED Tuesday, April 29, 2014-- 6:10 p.m.

It's not exactly good biking weather and yet bike thefts have nearly doubled since this time last year. uw police say in most cases it all comes down to the lock.

This year there have already been 21 bike thefts on campus compared to just 11 this time last year. Many are expensive, worth upwards of $2,000, and often they have cheap flimsy locks or no locks at all. UW-Madison Police suggest buying a cheap bike and an expensive lock like a u-lock.

"It's very industrial very hard to break very hard to cut," said UW-Madison Police public information officer, Marc Lovicott.

It's the best advice they can give, but it's not fool proof.

"I was at work between nine and three, and came out and it was gone."

One victim is Samantha Pabich, who is the sister of NBC15 reporter Kate Pabich. She had her bike stolen last fall. She used a u-lock, but the thief cut it.

"Everything I did was right. It was in daylight, it was in a well lit, well trafficked lot. "

Police told her there was nothing more she could have done. One thing they're doing again this year is the "bait bike" system. They place bikes around the campus with GPS, and when a thief swipes them, they can track any movement in real time. Police say often the thieves are part of a specific group of people looking for quick cash.

"A lot of these individuals have drug problems and they try to get items they can turn over quickly and get quick cash to get drugs," said Lovicott.

If you have any information on bike thefts contact UW-Madison Police.

By law you have to register your bike. You can do that on the City of Madison website for $10. That way if your bike is stolen, UW Police have a better chance of tracking it through a serial number.

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