Scooter, motorcycle thefts rise in West Campus

Brooke Ontiveros

The Austin Police Department reported an increase in scooter and motorcycle thefts in West Campus, according to an APD alert. 

Scooters are particularly easy to steal because they can be picked up and placed into another vehicle, according to the alert.

Thieves will often steal a bike by breaking the steering lock and wheeling it away, APD said. To avoid this, APD advises students to use a chain lock that goes through the back wheel since the front wheel can be removed, according to the alert.

“Secure your bike with the lock taut to an immovable object such as a ground anchor or street furniture,” the alert said. “This will stop thieves from cutting a lock trailing on the ground using an angle grinder. If this isn’t possible, thread the chain through your bike frame and back wheel.”

Since thieves look for bikes that are easy to steal, students should always remove the keys, even if they will be gone only a short time, according to the alert.

“It only takes a few seconds for a thief (to steal), so don’t make it easy for them,” the alert said. 

According to the alert, thieves also look for particular bike models to steal, and a bike cover will provide another obstacle to the thief.

“Using a cover instantly makes it less attractive to them,” the alert said.

Students should mark and make their bikes unique since this will help police identify and return recovered bikes or scooters, according to the alert. Marked bikes also make it difficult for thieves to sell the bike’s parts, according to the alert.

The best place to keep bikes is in a garage or shed, according to the alert. If those are not available, students should park their bikes in areas close to home with good lighting, according to the alert.

APD is actively investigating these incidents, and if anyone has information on these thefts off campus, they should call APD at 311, or call 911 if they see a theft in progress, according to the alert.