Bike thief poses as student in disguise, uses bolt cutters to steal

In the last three weeks, there have been six bike thefts on campus. All the bikes that were stolen were taken off bike racks and had cable-style bike locks.

“We secured several still pictures with video cameras identifying this young man. He looks like a student – backpack , baseball cap – but when he kneels down to the bike rack you can see him pull out bolt cutters,” said Paul Chapa, chief of police.

Images of the suspect were sent to the Trinity community on Monday in an email detailing what he looked like. The suspect looks to be in his mid -twenties with short hair and a tattoo on his upper left arm.

“He is cutting the lock on the bike and taking the bike. The times are different. Some are in the evening and some are in the morning  like at 6:30 a.m. There is not a specific time frame but we know he is consistant on coming back,” Chapa said.

Students have the opportunity to register their bikes on campus so that it can be identified if stolen. Bikes can be registered on the Trinity University police department page online or they can be registered with a smart phone by scanning a QR code.

“In addition to what we have this year, we have designed a metal sign that we have attached at some of the most populated bike racks on campus. It’s a sign with a badge, it has a QR reader code, so the many students we have on campus that have smart phones can scan the code at the bike rack and register their bike right there,” Chapa said.

Because there are a greater amount of bikes on campus this year than in previous years, more bike racks have been ordered. The bike racks have been ordered not specifically because of the bike thefts.

“Things change dramatically. Some years we will have bicycle usage  and the next year we won’t have near as many bicycles. That’s the primary reason that most of the bicycle racks are removable because it is a very fluid situation,” said Mike Schweitzer, assistant director of facility services.

The bike racks came in this week and will be set up in areas of most direct need. Schweitzer said the bike racks now are completely full and new bike racks will be added to Prassel and other areas that are suggested.

Bikes are being used by students now more than ever.

“I always keep my bike in my room. I do that on purpose as I know that people can cut locks,” said Jacqueline Golden, junior.

Students do have the ability to either bring their bikes in their room.

“They do advise them to bring it inside and either lock it up inside or get a U-Lock, which you can try to win by registering your bike because those are a lot harder to cut through,” Golden said.