Thwarting thieves is simpler than you think

With more preventative measures, students could avoid more thefts.


Photo Illustration by Caroline Sommers/ THE CHIMES

Alondra Urizar, Writer

Last week, I woke up and found my bicycle seat gone. I found it rather hilarious since my father had his own bicycle seat stolen a few years back and we keep a few spares at our house for this very reason. I was pretty excited to see myself in Biola’s crime log, a section I used to write for.

Improperly Locked

Shrugging my shoulders, I made my way toward the Campus Safety office with my bike to make my report. I am not too upset at the thief and have no one else to blame but myself. Though I locked my bicycle, my seat had a quick release system, making it a prime opportunity for thieves. Even when I was young, I once had my unlocked bicycle stolen at least four different times from our property, my family finding my bike each time until finally, it disappeared permanently. I learned my lessons and began to lock my bike if I even stepped away from it for a moment.

In recent years, Campus Safety has seen a large increase of bicycles on campus, Chief John Ojeisekhoba said. However, students do not properly lock bicycles with suggested U-locks, instead relying on cable locks, often broken with bolt cutters. Students also leave their items and rooms unattended, believing their quick trip to their destination will be harmless.

Yet, time after time, students find themselves victims to crime. Property crime includes burglary, theft, grand theft auto and theft from vehicle. La Mirada has had 409 property crimes from Feb. 22, 2016 to Aug. 21, 2016 with 94.5 crimes per 10,000 people, according to the Los Angeles Times crime section.

Precautionary Measures

Thieves take opportunities that become present to them, Ojeisekhoba said. To keep their items safe, students should take precautionary measures against thefts. For bikes, exchange chains and cable locks with U-locks and ensure bike seats and tires are bolted in. If they have a quick release system, take them with you. Ensure your bike is secured properly to a bike rack with the back wheel also secured.

For valuable items left unattended, Ojeisekhoba believes the answer relatively simple: do not leave them unattended. Take valuables with you and lock your doors. While it may be a hassle for some students, Ojeisekhoba prefers dorm doors with self-locking doors. Thieves often disguise themselves as students, pretending they forgot their IDs to gain entry to dormitories.

Better Safe Than Sorry

Students should register their bicycles with Campus Safety and take pictures to have on hand should anything happen. Campus Safety allows students to register their bikes for free.

Coming from a dangerous neighborhood, I found myself shocked at students’ carefree nature with their belongings. Dorm rooms were left open, laptops left unattended at tables with keys, wallets and phones. Bikes were left unlocked most commonly at Talbot East and in a few instances, car windows left open and doors unlocked. When I ask students regarding the unsafe condition of their valuables, most shrug their shoulders and say, “It was only for a couple minutes!” or “It’s Biola, who’s going to take my stuff?”

Better safe than sorry, Biola.

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