Two bikes were stolen from the UNB campus within the same weekend.
The first theft occurred outside of Head Hall early in the morning of Sept.18 and the second sometime between the night of Sept. 19 and the morning of Sept. 21 behind the Forestry & Geology Building.
“Within that weekend they targeted specific bikes that were left in certain areas for an extended period of time,” said Bruce Rogerson, director of security and traffic at UNB Fredericton.
“Historically, bikes have been stolen from Head Hall’s main bike rack and often it’s because people leave their bikes stationary for extended periods of time.”
Rogerson said that surveillance cameras were set up in both areas but aren’t equipped with night vision capabilities. From the surveillance footage, both bikes were still locked to their respective racks at nightfall but were gone by dawn.
“The bikes were both locked so obviously someone’s got bolt cutters, etc. They take the lock with them so it looks like they’re leaving with their bike,” Rogerson said.
Bicycle thieves often plan their thefts well in advance. They may even ride a bike themselves and use the racks as an excuse to look for potential bikes to steal.
“With the new students arriving people know new bikes are showing up. I’ve been told by staff that people will stand inside Head Hall and look out through the glass to see what bike they want. Then they’ll wait for the coast to be clear and walk out, cut the lock and disappear.”
Whether the thefts were committed by an individual or a group of perpetrators is unconfirmed at this time. It is also unknown if the incidents were connected.
“UNB is a walkthrough community. We get all kinds of people coming through. They might be stealing a bike for themselves or they might be stealing it to sell. In some cases people take orders for bikes,” Rogerson said.
It is also unclear what the motive of the thief or thieves are at the moment.
“It could be for a chop shop — taking it to somebody who wants the brakes and the tires. Or there could be a bicycle theft ring going on, which means they steal multiple bikes and ship them off somewhere outside the city and maybe even outside the country,” he said.
Rogerson recommends that cyclists invest in cut-proof locks in order to ensure the safety of their bikes. He also advises students to relocate their bikes from time to time — locking up at the same rack everyday creates a pattern that potential thieves can monitor.