Every year, a number of bikes on campus go missing. Sometimes they turn up, sometimes not. Juniata Public Safety deals with the reported bikes and their recovery. Director of Public Safety Jesse Leonard has more:
This year so far it has been five reported thefts, which is up from three last year. In 2009 it was three. Last year it seemed to be mostly bike seats that were being stolen.
How many get recovered?
A good many, actually. Just last week we found someone’s bike in the stairwell behind the library that had been reported missing for about a month. In many cases the bikes are simply “borrowed” and then dropped wherever the person happens to be.
Who takes them? Students? Townspeople? Drunk people?
It seems to usually be students “borrowing” from students. I would stress that most of these thefts are opportunity thefts. The bikes are unlocked, someone sees them and wants to get somewhere quick, class or Sheetz, and just takes them.
Are there any specific places you recover the bikes?
Many are on the way to Sheetz, actually, just dumped in the alleyway. We’ve found some in Muddy Run by East. One time we even found some stolen bikes at the flea market on Route 22.
What can people do to make sure their bike doesn’t get stolen?
Locking your bike is obviously the easiest way. Check on your bike too. People have come in here and reported their bike stolen and when we ask when it was stolen they say, “I don’t know, I haven’t ridden it in a month.”
Juniata’s really a very safe campus; again, almost all thefts are opportunity thefts. If you remove the opportunity, theft will not occur. I used to work in an inner city area; when people would bring a bike they would remove the seat and front wheel then lock it with a thick chain.
-Joe Aultman-Moore, 2012