The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Bike bait’ program pays early dividends


After crunching the numbers, the University Police Department said its “bait bike” program, which has been in effect since 2009, is demonstrating success on campus.
“Bait bikes” are bikes placed around campus that are left purposefully unhooked and have a GPS device attached that alerts police when they begin to move. If the bike is taken, UPD can immediately follow the movements and track down the thief.
Detective Cody Clemens said the department has collaborated with Transportation Services to create the program, which now boasts a 53.6 percent bicycle recovery, compared to 23.8 percent when it was first installed.
“The goal is to make it to where a student can leave their bicycle outside their dorm or classroom without the fear that it won’t be there when they return,” Clemens said.
Ron Steedly, alternative transportation manager for Transportation Services, said the collaboration with UPD has helped make sure there is no confusion over whether the unlocked bikes are actually bait bikes.
“I work closely with UPD on the location of the bait bikes, so I do not pick up the bikes as abandoned to allow them to be bait,” Steedly said.
Lt. Allan Baron said the number of bicycles stolen on campus has decreased from 361 in 2011 to just 82 through September of this year. He attributed the decrease to the rise in bike engraving and registration.
Engraving stations are located across campus where students can have their bicycles or other personal items engraved free of charge. A UIN or driver’s license number is engraved onto the bike, which can assist officers in tracking down stolen property. The next engraving date is Tuesday.
Clemens stressed the importance of having a sturdy bike lock and securing the bike properly. Too often, the cheaper plastic wire locks can be cut and removed easily, so officers recommend using a heavier metal U-bolt lock that goes through the frame and the wheel.
“When locking up, go through the frame and the wheel,” Clemens said. “This prevents people from ‘making a bike.’”
Baron said the goal of the program is for students to develop a mindset that just because a bike is unlocked does not mean it is for anyone to take.
Photo by Tanner Garza

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