UI police stepping up efforts to combat bike thefts on campus

UI police stepping up efforts to combat bike thefts on campus

CHAMPAIGN — A University of Illinois police effort to track stolen bicycles on campus has returned encouraging results, according to police Chief Craig Stone.

Stone talked about the program as classes got underway for the fall 2018 semester, leading to an influx of bikes around campus.

The department said there were 89 bikes reported stolen in the 2017-18 school year, with a total value of about $20,000. The peak time period for stolen bikes is between August and October.

Last September, UI police began planting decoy bikes with GPS trackers, allowing them to track the bikes if they were stolen. The program led to 16 arrests.

Stone said the agency is hoping a message is being sent to anyone thinking about stealing a bike. UI police said there were 32 arrests for stolen bikes between August 2017 and July 2018.