A continuous problem on University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s campus is bicycle theft. This is the number one reported crime on the campus. This statistic prompted the police services to launch a bike theft prevention program this fall.
About 300 bikes have been stolen on UW-La Crosse’s campus in the past five years. Chief of the UW-L police department, Scott Rohde, said this is an exception to the very low crime rate on UW-L’s campus.
Officer Dave Pehl would like students or anyone using bikes around campus to register their bikes. Pehl said that many bikes have been sent to the police services, but they are not able to return them to their owner without registration. The form is free and takes about one minute to complete. This form in located on the UW-L Police Services bike theft prevention website, along with forms for the La Crosse Police Department and the National Bike Registry.
The UW-L Police Services bike theft prevention website provides multiple tips for preventing bike thefts. These tips include how to properly lock up one’s bike, the right kind of lock to use, or how to properly lock up bikes without removing the front wheel. The tips also include recommendations on the best types of locks for bicycles.
Pehl is working with the Office of Residence Life to try to place notes on each unlocked bike around campus. Officer Pehl is also working with local bike shops in the area to offer discounts on locks to students and those biking on campus. These bike shops include Smith’s Cycling & Fitness, Bikes Limited, and River Trail Cycles.