Rising temperatures bring increase in U bicycle thefts

by Rocky Thompson

University police took reports on three bikes stolen on and off campus Wednesday.

University Police Capt. Steve Johnson said bike thefts spike in the spring.

“If you’re going to go shopping for apples, do you go in the dead of winter or right after a harvest?” he asked.

The bikes stolen ranged in value from $250 to $800, and all three were locked, according to the police reports.

Kryptonite, one of the largest U.S. bike lock manufacturers, releases an annual list of the top 10 worst cities for bike theft based on its proprietary data.

For the first time, Minneapolis made the list at number nine, beating Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver and Portland, Ore.

Johnson said locks slow thieves, but they will take extraordinary measures to get expensive bikes.

The best way to avoid bike theft is to ride a cheap bike on campus, use a high-quality lock and park in a high-traffic area, Johnson said.

He also said he recommends buying a bike license and making sure the lock is attached to a secure point, stronger than the lock.

Owning a bike license registers the bike with the state, and if it is stolen and recovered it will be returned to the owner.

In other police news:

Just past midnight Saturday a University police officer pulled a 23-year-old man off the exterior rail of the 10th Avenue Bridge.

“In the course of our duties, if we see someone on the outside of the railing, we’ll pull them back in,” Johnson said.

He said University police have had training in dealing with suicidal people in addition to the standard police training.

Johnson said the man was under the influence of alcohol and police transported him to special care.


Monday afternoon, University police responded to two calls of garbage cans on fire.

Shortly past noon, an unknown person threw a cigarette in a garbage can outside Ford Hall, starting a fire.

The Minneapolis Fire Department extinguished the fire.

Three hours later, officers were dispatched to the Science Classroom Building on another fire call.

Upon arrival, the officers met a student outside with a garbage can on fire. The student told the officers that he passed someone going into the bathroom where he found the garbage can on fire, according to the police report.

He brought the can outside and called police.

No suspects were seen in the area, and both cases are inactive pending any new information.

Rocky Thompson covers police and crime and welcomes comments at [email protected]