Bicycle Safety and Registration
Bicycle theft is a nationwide problem and one of the largest problems on university campuses. All types of bicycles, from the most expensive to the least, are stolen every day. They are a popular target with thieves and can easily be sold in other areas of the city. Thousands of dollars are lost every year in bikes and bike parts.
Register Your Bike
Registering your bike with St. Thomas Public Safety reduces the risk your bike will be stolen (thanks to a visible registration sticker) and helps with recovery in the event of bike theft. Bicycle registration is a free service for University of St. Thomas students, faculty and staff, and it only needs to be done once.
Contact Public Safety
Report a Crime (non-emergency)
Bicycle Safety and Security at St. Thomas
When your register your bicycle with the university, the registration number is stored in a database with the Public Safety Department, along with the owner's name and contact information.
The owner will receive a University of St. Thomas registration sticker to attach to the bicycle frame. This will indicate the bike has been registered and assist in deterring theft by being a visible marker.
If your bicycle is stolen, when you report it missing to Public Safety they can quickly file a campus report and assist you in filing a report with the local police. The Public Safety team will be on the lookout for it, be able to identify it via the sticker (and other information in the registration database), and contact you if it is found. Registering your bike increases your chances of recovery if your bicycle is stolen.
After a police report has been filed, if any Public Safety Officer or Police Officer stops the bicycle and runs its serial number, the officer can then seize the bicycle and have it returned to the person from whom it was stolen.
If Public Safety locates a bike that appears abandoned, neglected, or unsecured, we can run the bike for owner information, contact that owner and hold the bike until recovered.
There are a number of outdoor bicycle racks on campus. Many are near the entrances and exits to buildings. If there is not a rack right next to the door you intend to use, look at another entrance to the building. Only lock your bike to a bike rack.
Indoor bike storage for resident students is located in the Tommie North Garage and the Frey Garage. For fall 2021, new bike storage locker has been added to the Anderson Parking Facility, and this secure bike storage is available to all students, faculty and staff. Bike storage lockers are available on a first come, first served basis, and are accessible using a St. Thomas ID card. There is no charge to store their bicycles; users will need to supply their own locks.
On the St. Thomas campuses, bikes must be locked to a bike rack - not to trees, railings, poles, etc.
Lock It or Lose It: Most stolen bicycles are either unlocked or secured with poor quality locks. Bikes are easy targets for thieves - they're usually lightweight, easy to get to, and can even be used for quick getaways. The most important step to take against bike theft is to lock your bicycle securely and correctly whenever you leave it, even for a short time. Take an extra minute and lock up your bike. The best type of bike lock to use is a U-lock. You may also want additional locks to secure the bicycle seat and/or the wheels to the frame.
Take a look at the product guarantee when you shop for a lock. Better quality locks have anti-theft protection option. Read the details carefully as you likely need to register within a small time period and provide proof of bike purchase.
Most stolen bikes are not locked. The St. Thomas community is not immune to this problem, but we can take measures to help prevent it. Follow these tips for a smoother ride and save yourself a headache later.
- Always ensure that your bicycle is locked properly and completely, regardless of how long you step away or its value.
- Lock your bike in any location - at home, on campus, on the street, or in a residence hall. When possible, keep your bike in your room.
- Lock your bike to a fixed, immovable object such as a bike rack and put the chain or cable through both wheels, the frame and the stationary object. Remember to also lock parts attached with quick-release mechanisms. (Only lock your bike to approved racks - not trees, signposts, or rails.)
- Fasten locks tightly - don't leave room for crowbars to slide through. Use a hardened steel U-type lock - also consider using anti-pry devices. If you use a regular padlock, purchase one with a 7/16" shank, the largest size that will fit a campus bike rack.
- Don't leave your bike locked on an outdoor rack overnight or over winter months.
- Try to use a bike rack in a well-lit and well-traveled area. Select a location where there are other bikes. Don't hide your bike in the bushes; thieves know where to look.
- Don't let people you don't know ride your bike; they may not come back.
- Identify and mark your bike. Engrave, tape, paint and other means are helpful ways to personalize your bike and keep a photo of your bike on record. If you register your bike with St. Thomas, we'll give you a registration sticker.
- Insure your bike. Check your homeowner's or renter's insurance policy to see if coverage is included. Keep a record of your original purchase receipts and bike serial numbers. Spend at least 10% of the cost of your bike on security. Consider how much it will cost to replace your bike when deciding how much you can afford to spend protecting your bike.
- Don't leave things in your bike bags and take your bike seat (or wheel) with you if you have a quick release.
- Register your bike with St. Thomas
Above all, don't fight back if someone tries to take your bike. Instead, remember what the thief looks like and the direction he/she went. Call Public Safety at 651-962-5555 if on campus or 911 if off campus.