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Tips for Protecting Your Bike from Thieves

For starters, use a U-lock. Last year, 72 bikes were stolen on campus; don’t be a statistic.


A BU police officer caught a bike thief on a recent Saturday afternoon as he walked down Blandford Street carrying not one, but two stolen bicycles.

It was easy pickins for the thief, says Robert E. Molloy, BU Police Department deputy chief. The owners had locked their bicycles using cables, which pose little obstacle to a thief with a bolt cutter.

And the thieves are out there. Last year, 72 bicycles were stolen from BU’s campus, and all but 5 were locked with just a cable or a chain.

Don’t be another statistic. Get a steel U-lock, Molloy advises. Although not foolproof, they take more time and strength to remove. And to be really safe, Molloy says, use two. “The more locks you put on your bike, the harder it is to get,” he says. “A bike thief is going to go to the easiest and quickest bike they can get.”

Heat Map showing the location of bike thefts on the Boston University Charles River Campus during Academic Year 2017-2018.

Bike thefts reported to the BU Police Department on the Charles River Campus by location and number during academic year 2017/2018. Map created by BUPD

Parking and Transportation Services recently announced a new incentive program for student cyclists: Bluebikes bicycle sharing memberships for $52.50 a year, about half the standard cost. Carl Larson, transportation demand management and marketing manager, says the University decided to subsidize the cost of the bike share program to make it affordable for more students. The discount is also available to faculty and staff.

“For less than $4.50 a month, students can now have 24/7 access to 1,800 bikes at 200 stations around the city, including 6 on the BU campus,” Larson says. “This is particularly exciting for students who want to have access to a bike, but don’t want to worry about maintenance, storage, and theft.”


One Comment on Tips for Protecting Your Bike from Thieves

  • Eric on 10.04.2018 at 7:32 pm

    Theres plenty more you can add such as making sure your u lock is around the frame of the bike because the front tire can be easily detached from the frame. Try to lock both the frame and front tire to the bike rack so they cant take your front tire or your bike unless they break the lock. Simple stuff but decreases the chances of anything happening by a ton.

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