Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Bicycle theft at Stanford

lctinglcting Registered User Posts: 3 New Member
edited May 2013 in Stanford University
Stanford prides itself of having great people. During 2011, 318 bikes were reported stolen and the actual number of cases were probably higher. Why so many of these great people steal bicycles?
Post edited by lcting on

Replies to: Bicycle theft at Stanford

  • texaspgtexaspg Forum Champion Pre-Med & Medical Posts: 16,695 Forum Champion
    It is the outsiders that are stealing them. All the students already have bikes.
  • AustroHungarianAustroHungarian Registered User Posts: 346 Member
    People from outside of Stanford steal the bikes (or what parts they can) to sell them. It's not Stanford students...
  • SocalPapaSocalPapa Registered User Posts: 146 Junior Member
    Crime rates of every type are very low at Stanford. As with all schools it has some property crimes. Frequently those property crimes involve bikes because most students have a bike, bikes are valuable objects, and students typically park their bikes outside overnight in areas that are accessible to the public.
  • Data10Data10 Registered User Posts: 2,487 Senior Member
    Stanford publishes their crime statistics. An example is at http://www.stanford.edu/group/SUDPS/safety-report/Stanford_CrimeStats_2012.pdf . Note that the majority of crimes are bike thefts. However, there are also a few more serious crimes, such as rape. Some of the ivies have a lower crime rate for these serious crimes, and some have a higher rate.

    Regarding bike theft, it is indeed common. I had 2 bikes stolen on campus while I was a student -- one while using an "unbreakable" lock. Someone in my freshman door once saw an older (too old to be a college student) male appearing to be stealing bikes late at night. A football player scared him off. As has been discussed above, the bike thefts occur because the majority of students bike to class, so there are a huge number of bikes by the dorms; and the bike parking is accessible to outsiders who don't go to the school. Freshman dorms may be targeted more than others since many freshman don't bother with protecting their bike using locks or taking it indoors. Palo Alto and most neighboring towns appear to be nice areas, which I'd expect to have low crime rates. But one big exception is East Palo Alto, which has an extremely high crime rate. For a short time during the 90s, it had the highest murder rate per capita in the United States.
  • scsciencescscience Registered User Posts: 154 Junior Member
    Honestly, it's not something to worry about if you lock your bike correctly. Many people do not do this, and that is why bikes get stolen. For example, a lot of people just lock the bike's tire to itself and not to an actual bike rack (=easy steal). The safest way is to lock the bike's tire AND frame all to the bike rack, and also DO NOT use a cable lock, use the U-lock.
  • hebrewhammerhebrewhammer Registered User Posts: 874 Member
    I also went out of my way to make sure I bought wheels for my bike that were NOT quick release. I still try to always lock both my wheel and frame to something solid but I think it's a lot less common for someone to go around with a wrench trying to steal bike parts.

    Bike theft is an unfortunate fact of life (here and elsewhere) but if you're smart about it there are pretty easy ways to mitigate the chances of your bike getting stolen (i.e. getting a u-lock, locking your bike properly, avoiding quick-release wheels, not having a super expensive bike...).
  • collegedad2013collegedad2013 - Posts: 241 Junior Member
    @scsience - isn't a cable lock better if it can secure the frame and back wheel to the bike rack?
    Isn't that harder to do with a u-lock?
    Is it okay if the cable is a thicker cable?
  • SakariSakari Registered User Posts: 208 Junior Member
    Cables are generally easily cut. Thicker ones might be harder to cut, but still. To lock a bike with a U lock: you'll want to position the bike so that the middle is next to the post. The U lock will come in from the side and should be able to catch both the frame and the tire. If you're unsure of how to do it, Google Images have a few examples.

    Ideally, you'd want to lock both tires, but unless you know how to take off a tire and lock it, this isn't very feasible with one U lock. You could use two U locks or a cable to lock the extra one.

    Be advised, an expert thief can break through even a U lock. But taking precautions will often cut down the chances of theft. I myself just use a U lock, but I don't attend Stanford. However, I own a fairly expensive road bike (I bought it used) and would really hate to lose it. Best of luck!
  • StanfordCAStanfordCA Registered User Posts: 25 Junior Member
    Bike theft, like others have mentioned, is mainly outsiders who come to campus knowing it's ripe for easy bike theft. If you go to Stanford, chances are you already have a bike and don't need to steal one. Just a crime of opportunity and a fact of life, unfortunately.

    U locks are the way to go. Though they have their flaws, at least they can't be cut away easily like cable locks. Never lock your bike just to itself, always lock it to a rack or heavy object so someone can't just pick it up and toss it into the back of a truck. Always lock the frame and wheel if possible.
This discussion has been closed.