Campus Surveillance System Helps CSULB Police Thwart Bike Thefts

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A rash of bike thefts and attempted bike thefts at Cal State Long Beach (CSULB) have kept the campus’ University Police Department busy this month as officers made their ninth and 10th arrests of would-be thieves during the month of April on Monday (April 19).

Using the campus’ surveillance system, a CSULB University Police dispatcher observed two male subjects acting suspiciously near a bike rack outside the residence halls at around 10:50 p.m. Monday.  Due to recent bicycle thefts and a series of arrests of others apprehended while stealing or attempting to steal bicycles, officers were immediately sent to the scene.

Officers quickly arrived and detained the two suspects.  Shortly after, the officers located a bolt cutter device commonly used to break a lock or chain for the purpose of stealing a bike inside the trash can near where one of the suspects was sitting.

“Later, through our surveillance system we viewed the camera footage and saw one of the suspects use his left hand to place an object into the trash bin next to them when the first of our officers arrived at the scene,” CSULB Police Chief Stan Skipworth said.  “Both suspects admitted to coming on campus to steal bicycles, and both were arrested and booked at Long Beach jail for possession of burglary tools and an added charge of conspiracy to commit grand theft.”

These arrests follow a series of eight arrests at the beginning of April, and another pair of arrests for bicycle theft several weeks ago.  In all, Skipworth said 17 people have been arrested for theft or attempted theft of bicycles on campus since fall 2009.

Due to the thefts, the University Police Department has stepped up efforts to encourage students to register their bikes with the department to increase the likelihood that they will get their bikes back if stolen.  The department is also recommending that students purchase U-type locks to better secure their bicycles.  These locks have proven to be more difficult to cut and stronger and more rigid than cable or chain locks.

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