Keeping Your Wheels Safe Bikes
Bicycles are a popular target for thieves, and college campus areas are full of bikes. Bike theft is often a crime of opportunity so an unattended, unsecured bike is particularly vulnerable.
If you have a bike on or near campus, here are a few precautions to keep it safe.
Cars and trucks
- Lock it up. UWM has bike racks all over campus.
- If you live off campus, bring the bike inside, if possible, or chain it to something sturdy.
- Use a good lock. If you're lucky enough to have a $5,000 bike, don't use a $10 lock to protect it.
- Experts recommend using keyed locks, rather than easily picked combination locks. Use case-hardened, encased cable instead of chains. Wind the chain through the frame and wheels.
- If you keep your bike in a residence hall, you must register it with University Police.
- Cycle-Safe bike lockers, which are secure and weatherproof, are available to residents of University Housing. Each unit is keyed separately. The lockers are located next to South Tower in Sandburg Halls. 50 storage units are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Rental is $125 per semester. To request a bike locker, download and print the bike locker agreement and return it with payment to University Housing.
Most vehicle thefts are due to "user error." Even without installing an electronic alarm system, "the club," or a GPS tracking system, taking a few common-sense precautions can help keep your car or truck from disappearing.
- Don't leave your keys in the car or truck. Nearly 20 percent of all vehicles stolen have the keys in them.
- Don't leave your car running while you dash into a convenience store or stop at the ATM for a minute.
- Lock the doors and trunk. Approximately 50 percent of all stolen vehicles have the keys in them.
- Don't hide a second set of keys in your vehicle.
- Close your vehicle's windows completely.
- If possible, don't leave valuables in your car. If you do, keep them out of sight.
- Engrave personal ID numbers on car stereos, cellular phones, etc., so the thief will have difficulty disposing of them.
With more students and faculty/staff members using motorcycles to commute to campus and save on gasoline, it's important to take precautions to keep your motorized bike safe. While motorcycles are a little less portable than a bicycle, they can be easier to steal than a car. A few guys can pick up a motorcycle and toss it in the back of a truck without too much time or trouble.
- Follow the safety tips for vehicle theft prevention above
- If you live off campus and have access to a secured garage or a shed, keep the motorcycle out of sight.
- Invest in special motorcycle lock if the motorcycle is going to be sitting for awhile (i.e., over the winter) outside and chain it to something not easily movable.