CBU campus faces surge of bike thefts in living areas

Bike thefts have become a topic of concern at California Baptist University. The community is on alert after a surge in theft in living areas, with approximately 30 reported just in the fall semester of 2021, and the problem continues into this semester.

Because Magnolia Crossing is located down the street from the main campus, many residents commute back and forth on bikes, locking them to a rack at night. But as they prepare to hit the road the next morning, several have found themselves with no transportation. 

The problem began to receive more attention at the beginning of October, and as many rely on their bikes to get to campus, the concern at Magnolia Crossing continues to grow.

Stephen Phan, senior software engineer major and Magnolia Crossing resident adviser, said he was not aware of exactly how many thefts had occurred, but the number was large enough that the university stepped in to address the problem.

“CBU provided U-locks and talked about having a bike cage where residents can scan in to store their bikes,” Phan said. “I have at least two residents that asked about what CBU can do because their bike was stolen.”

The incidents have sparked conversations around security options for residents. U-bolt locks, for example, are more effective than the cable locks many students use.

Safety Services has increased the number of cameras on campus and patrol, including specific cameras for the bike racks being monitored by dispatch to achieve a more secure presence and avoid thefts. 

Smaller gates along campus have now been locked according to  Safety Services.

The campus community contributes to the problem by not reporting suspicious activity,  so it is important to stay alert to anything that can help reduce the thefts. Samantha Greer, administrative assistant for Safety Services, works frequently with these situations.

“We’ve found that (in) the bike theft, the person drove in right behind a student,” Greer said. “He was standing right next to the student. But students don’t report suspicious behaviors and if you’re living in an area you will more than likely be familiar with the people in your area, so if something looks suspicious, just report it. It’s better for us to go out and identify the person than it is for us to hear about it two days later.”

With the recent thefts on campus, Greer encourages students to become aware of their surroundings and adequately secure their bikes.

“(I suggest) to lock their bikes with U-bolt locks,” Greer said. “And when they lock their bike, they lock the frame and the wheel to the rack.”

The Instagram account @cbu.confessions provides unofficial updates on thefts and found items. Students can report suspicious behavior to Safety Services. 

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