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Bike thefts on UW campus almost double last year

UWPD: Most bike thefts involve bikes not locked, bikes locked with flimsy locks

MADISON, Wis. - Bike thefts on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus have nearly doubled compared to this time last year, according to a University of Wisconsin Police Department release.

As of Monday, UWPD has investigated 21 bike thefts on campus, which is compared to 11 cases last year.

According to the release, many of the thefts this year involve expensive, high-end bikes worth upwards of $2,000.

Bikes are targeted for a variety of reasons, but usually thieves target them because they can be easily stolen and easily turned around for cash, officials said. Most of the bike thefts UWPD has investigated involved bikes that were either not locked or were locked with inexpensive, flimsy cable locks.

"What we try to tell students is to invest in an inexpensive bike, but a quality U-style bike lock," UWPD Lt. Ruth Ewing said in the release. "Cheap cable locks can be cut in just a few seconds."

UWPD officials said they have re-launched their bait bike program that allows officers to track a bike that has been stolen in real-time.

The department has seen a huge success with the program over the last few years, arresting individuals responsible for multiple bike thefts on campus, according to the release.

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