The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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CSUN bicycle theft cases top 100 in one year

Several leftover, dismantled bicycles like this one clutter CSUN campus bike racks. Over 100 bicycle thefts were reported from Apr. 1, 2014 to the following year. Photo credit: Justen Gutierrez

The Number of Bike Thefts At CSUN

Old bikes that have been stripped of their parts litter almost every bicycle rack at Cal State University Northridge. Bicycle theft has become such a common occurrence on campus that most people pay no mind to the many piles of old tires and empty frames they see every day when heading to class.

However, crimes rates reveal just how serious the problem is.

Bike thefts are one of the highest committed crimes on CSUN’s campus. Campus crime logs reveal a total of 103 bike theft incidents occurred between Apr. 1, 2014 to Apr 1, 2015, a span of exactly one year. Out of all of the incidents that occurred only one arrest was made and only two bikes were recovered.

Dividing the campus into five sections reveals another stark detail. Most of the thefts occurred in five quadrants around the campus: the northwest, the northeast, the southwest, the southeast and the far north.

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CSUN’s campus, split into five different quadrants, Photo credit: Justen Gutierrez

The data reveals most bikes had been stolen in Zone Five, or the far north end of the school near the University Park Apartments.

CSUN junior year student Terryeon Robinson says he’s been told that bicycles thefts are a common problem at the dormitories. Robinson was told by his leasing consultant “to make sure to secure [his] bike because a lot of them come up missing.”

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103 bicycles were reported stolen in a one year time span, from Apr. 1, 2014 to the following year. Photo credit: Justen Gutierrez


Research also shows that a total of 49 bikes thefts had occurred in the UPA sections. Most of the bikes in the area were reported stolen on the UPA bicycle compound 15, UPA 17, and UPA 8.

Data shows that three bikes had been reported stolen on the same day of Sept. 29, 2014 in UPA 5,9, and bicycle compound 15. The three bikes were reported stolen sometime from eight in the morning until two in the afternoon.

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Data shows the most bicycle thefts were committed near CSUN’s University Park Apartments. Photo credit: Justen Gutierrez

Zone One of CSUN consists of Sierra Hall, University Hall, Nordhoff Hall, Cypress Hill, Manzanita Hall, Valley Performing Arts, and the Oviatt Library. Six bike thefts had occurred by the Oviatt Library, followed by five bike thefts near Manzanita Hall. 22 bikes were stolen in total in Zone One.

Zone Two consists of the Matador Bookstore, Chaparral Hall, Live Oak, USU, Eucalyptus Hall and the G3 Parking Lot structure. Research suggests that a total of 15 bikes had been reported stolen in this zone. Six of those 15 were reported stolen next to Eucalyptus Hall. Three bikes were stolen from Live Oak and another three were stolen from the USU.

Zone Three and Zone Four had a total number of 15 bikes stolen. Zone Three consists of the Noski Auditorium, Arbor Grill, and Juniper Hall. Zone Four consists of Sagebrush Hall, Redwood Hall, and Jacaranda. Four bikes had been stolen in Zone Three near Juniper Hall and Arbor Grill. The majority of the bikes stolen in Zone Four was next to Jacaranda Hall.

Research suggests that some bike thefts had occurred in the morning hours as opposed to late at night. On Sept. 24, 2014, a bike was stolen at 9:11 a.m. in Zone Five.

The synopsis reports “an unknown suspect stole the victims bicycle that he had secured to the bicycle rack outside of UPA 12.”

The investigation was never cleared. This is one of many examples of bikes being stolen in the early morning hours.

The majority of bike thefts occurred in the late afternoon to early evening hours. On Dec. 3, 2014 at 5:29 p.m., a synopsis states that, “an unknown suspect had stole the victims bicycle that she had secured in the bicycle lot outside.”

On Mar. 23, 2015 at 10:23 p.m., an unknown suspect had stolen a victim’s bicycle that he had secured near the Oviatt Library. Research shows that a majority of the bikes had been stolen, regardless of what type of lock they used.

A report shows that on Mar. 5, 2015, at 7:14 a.m. an unknown suspect stole a bicycle from a bicycle rack severed with a small paper lock.

Data shows that most of the bikes that were stolen had cable locks to secure their bikes.

“To prevent the theft of certain components and accessories you can get smaller cable locks that lock to your main lock and your component. You can also get special locking hardware, bolts and nuts, that make it harder for people to steal components from your bike,” bicycle mechanic Matt Maceda said.

Research shows that out of the 103 bikes that were reported stolen, only two had actually been recovered. A disposition dated on Apr. 7, 2014 showed that there had only been one arrest by CSUN police officers after one man admitted to stealing a bike.

Maced said that CSUN’s bike registration program does not help once the bike is stolen. Maceda said that if the bike is found it can be traced back to its owner and sometime the registration is the only way that it can be linked back to its rightful owner.

President of The CSUN Bicycle Club, America Gonzalez, said there aren’t enough bike racks on CSUN’s campus.

“There are certain areas that are missing bike racks. There’s Monterey Hall that no one really goes to, but I go to a lot. They had a bike rack that was really old and rusty and it just disappeared. Now I have to use a cable to lock my bike around a tree and it’s not that safe,” Gonzalez said.

Though there are many unsecure racks throughout campus Gonzalez said the school has made a small initiative to try and improve the situation.

Special racks like the ones located adjacent to Sierra Tower are an invention of a former CSUN engineering student, and are designed to allow more efficient security of bicycles. The rack allows the frame and the tire to be secured together against the rack with most types of u-locks.

However, more needs to be done in order to ensure students that biking can still be considered an efficient way to commute to campus. For now, students should be sure to lock their tire and frame to racks and use a u-lock whenever possible.

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