Monica Yamamoto

Clarissa Delgado kept her bike behind the Sequoia residence hall throughout her freshman year. She kept it with her back tire locked in the racks so she could easily ride away. Throughout the year, she never had a problem and when freshman year ended, her friend volunteered to pick up her bike and store it over the summer.

The only trouble was, when he came by to get it, the bike was missing the front wheel.

“It’s a good thing I live close to campus,” said the architecture junior, since she still hasn’t replaced it.

While theft on campus isn’t an overwhelming problem, it is still there and bike theft is at the top of the list.

“Between that and alcohol, those are the two things that keep us busy,” said University police chief Bill Watton.

Many bicycles are stored near the dorms. Watton advises students to not only lock both tires, but to have a good lock.

“We don’t have a big problem with cars,” he said. “People won’t break into a car if they don’t see something they want.”

The Kennedy Library has also been a site for frequent thefts.

Judy Drake, a library employee, said people who leave to get something to eat may return to find that their backpack had been stolen.

“We have posted signs on every floor that advises students not to leave their stuff unattended,” Drake said.

She said in her memory, the worst times of the year are always at the end of fall quarter during finals and the end of spring quarter.

“People are really good about turning stuff in,” she said, noting that people will find cell phones and even wallets and turn them in to the front desk.

Upon discovering an item has gone missing, Watton said students should call the University Police Department immediately, if on campus, or the San Luis Obispo Police Department if off campus.

He advised that students should keep identification numbers for bikes, laptops and other personal items listed somewhere.

“We can put that (ID number) in a nationwide database and there’s a chance they could get it back,” he said.

But to avoid this problem in the first place, Watton said that students should only bring what they absolutely need when coming to campus, and to be sure to lock things up, whether it be a bike, a car, a dorm room, etc.

Drake also advised to mark items in a way that the owner can recognize it and not to leave it unattended.

As for Delgado, she believes the campus is pretty safe, particularly in the dorms.

But she does have one piece of advice: “If you’re going to lock your bike, lock the front wheel because the back wheel is too much of a hassle to take.”

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