Senior News Editor
While not as pressing a problem as it was a decade ago, when bike thefts hovered between 75 and 100 per year, there are about 15 bikes stolen from the University of Saskatchewan campus each year.
Campus Safety arrested four youths for bike theft in July; the four had been working in pairs. Bob Ferguson, director of Campus Safety, said none of them are U of S students.
“We wouldn’t have that,” he said with a chuckle, adding that he thinks “we’ve had maybe one” student arrested for stealing bikes on campus in the last 20 years. “No, it looks like it was some young offenders coming onto campus to ply their trade.”
Students or not, bike theft represents a major inconvenience for those who rely on bicycles as summer transportation. Recent Edwards School of Business graduate Nick Purich fell victim to theft despite rarely bringing his bike to campus.
“I had a bike stolen this month at the U of S the one time I biked to school this summer,” said Purich, who attained his Masters in Professional Accounting this summer.
Purich had locked his bike outside the Arts building near the Buffeteria in July, before the second last final of his university career.
Bike thefts reached a peak on campus about 10 years ago. Since then, Campus Safety has brought in bait bikes and cameras to help cut down on thefts. Bait bikes have a tracking device that allows Campus Safety officers to locate it once it’s been taken from its spot on school grounds.
The bait bikes have not been out this year, Ferguson said, because he is in the process of acquiring newer, more sophisticated tracking technology that should be here and in use next year. Ferguson said that if there were more thefts taking place this year, he would have some bait bikes put out now, but as it is, thefts are not a severe problem. According to Ferguson, only “around 10” bikes have been stolen in 2011.
“I guess that’s enough if it’s your bike, though,” Ferguson said.
The Health Sciences area has proven to be among the most troublesome, according to Ferguson. And Louis’ manager Sean Gallop said his staff has experienced numerous bike thefts near the Memorial Union Building.
photo: Raisa Pezderic/The Sheaf