Last fall, David Craig had his bicycle stolen outside his residence hall.
“I had it parked in front of Stafford residence hall when it was stolen,” said Craig, who was then a freshman.
Craig said that as he left the Student Recreation Complex a few weeks later, he saw a student riding his bike. He followed after the student.
“I chased him, and there was almost a fight,” Craig said.
He recovered his bike.
Craig’s bike was later parked in front of Middlebush Hall when he found someone trying to break his lock. The lock was broken badly, and he was unable to unlock his bike. Craig reported his bike stolen to MU Police Department and was told police would watch out for it. Since then, Craig purchased another bike and has had no problems with theft.
This year, thefts have been neither more or less common.
“There have not been any uncommon or different trends,” said MUPD Capt. Brian Weimer.
If their bikes are stolen, students are advised to file a larceny report with MUPD.
“We are very proactive about finding stolen bikes,” Weimer said.
MUPD strongly advises students to lock their bikes at all times.
In addition to storing and locking their bikes on bike racks, students are allowed to bring their bikes indoors, Director of Residential Life Frankie Minor said.
“Students can bring their bikes into their rooms as long as it doesn’t obstruct access to fire exits and their roommates are OK with it,” Minor said.
The university provides students with areas to store their bikes. There are bike racks at different areas; some of these are covered.
Minor is working with Columbia city officials to encourage more bike travel and to add more bike racks. He met with students at the southwest area of campus when the university was installing cameras and had one pointed at the bike racks.
In an effort to decrease the amount of theft during the school year, Residential Life holds promotions about students protecting their belongings.
If students forget to store their bikes indoors over breaks, the university cuts the locks and stores the bikes until students remember they left their bikes out during break.
“We talk more about internal property safety for items such as computers and books, but we do talk to students about locking their bikes,” Minor said.
Thefts are not higher in any specific area of campus, Weimer said.
There is no season with higher theft rates, Minor said.