This archived article was written by: Laura Strate
Five bikes were stolen during the beginning weeks of fall semester. Four of the bikes were dismantled and the parts scattered around the Carbon County area.
Two of the bikes were taken from the AJ dorms, two from Burtenshaw and one from Sessions.
A female witness led police to the 51-year-old suspect who was later apprehended in November and charged with theft. A day after campus police learned of the suspect, the fifth bike was returned.
A common bike-locking device can make a bike an easy target says James Prettyman, CEU chief of police. Most students use a quarter inch cable with a plastic interlocking mechanism that requires a key to open it. There are two problems with these locks. Often times, the plastic device may click giving the owner a false impression that the lock is actually secured. Checking the lock after it has clicked is the only way to ensure it is fastened according to Prettyman.
The second problem is, since this is popular and fairly inexpensive lock, a key can open more than one lock. While investigating the thefts, Prettyman purchased a bike lock to test this concept. He found that his key opened four other locks on the CEU campus.
Out of the five bikes stolen on campus, only two of the locks had been cut, leaving little doubt that one of these two problems occurred.
Prettyman recommends using a Masterlock-type lock for bikes. A combination lock is more secure than any key-opened lock and the metal can not be destroyed as easily as cable wires. Crimes like bike theft are not uncommon on campus so a sturdy bike lock is a worthwhile investment.