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U-M police: Bicycle theft increasing in Ann Arbor

"Write your bike's serial number in marker on paper and have someone photograph you displaying it next to your bike. Also take shots of identifying details and keep them stored in your phone. There's no theft without proof of ownership," says Bicycling magazine.
"Write your bike's serial number in marker on paper and have someone photograph you displaying it next to your bike. Also take shots of identifying details and keep them stored in your phone. There's no theft without proof of ownership," says Bicycling magazine. (Getty Images)

ANN ARBOR – The University of Michigan Department of Public Safety & Security has reported a rise in bicycle theft on campus since the end of August.

For many, bicycles serve as the primary mode of transportation on the expansive campus, and DPSS is urging community members to register their bikes.

“We strongly encourage all members of our community who have a bicycle to take advantage of our registration program,” UMPD Lt. Paul DeRidder said in a statement. “If the bike is registered in our database, we can return it to its rightful owner if recovered from a resale or pawn shop.”

“Leaving your bike out without a lock, or with a cheap cable lock, is basically asking for it to get stolen,” U-M student Adam Kucharczyk said in a statement on DPSS' website after he lost his bike.

While investigations into several thefts are ongoing, DPSS released this list of precautions bike owners can take moving forward:

  • Register your bicycle. Registering your bike (or personal electronics such as a laptop) with DPSS can help deter theft and assist in the recovery of stolen property.
  • Use a quality U-Lock. Avoid cable locks, which are easy to cut through. Instead, use a hardened steel U-lock with a double-lock mechanism. Current students, faculty, and staff who register their bike can receive a free u-bolt lock (while supplies last) by stopping by the UMPD front desk at 1239 Kipke Dr (near Michigan Stadium) Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. after completing your bicycle registration online.
  • Properly secure your bike. When locking your bike to a rack, secure it through the frame and at least one of the wheels.
  • Secure or remove expensive bike accessories. This includes aftermarket seats, bags, bottles, lights, or GPS tracking devices.
  • See Something, Say Something. Report suspicious behavior near campus bike racks by contacting DPSS at (734) 763-1131 or 911.

For more information, visit DPSS' Bicycle Safety and Security page.

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