The Chainlink

From the downtown Depaul Campus at State and Jackson...A Professors bike two days ago, a co-workers bike yesterday, and two bikes today (both students...even better was Depaul Safety's response forone of the thefts today - they filed a report internally and told her to call 311 to file with the police...The bike racks are not on there property so they don't care...AND they didn't let her use there phone to call.)

Be careful around State and Jackson cause the racks at that corner get overloaded and no one cares that the bikes are being stolen.

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Hey Howard,

Hence forth I will inform those that i hear about to check in with the Stolen Bikes Registry...i can tell you that the Prof's bike and the student that was so wonderfully treated by Depaul safety had U-Locks that were taken as well. I'm not really supposed to let people know that I work there as is the nature of my employment but perhaps if you contact the Director of Depaul safety and let him know that you heard about the stolen bikes and that you may be of assistance?

Something else to consider is finding students willing to push for inside bike lock up...These kids pay through the teeth and Depaul Safety can hide behind the fact that the bike racks are not on there property. Lame!

h3 said:
Hey Gabe,
Can you please ask these folks to place reports at the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry?
It's really the best way out there to warn others, and also to arm the community with detailed, useful information about how not to get a bike stolen. reports like this, with no mention of what sort of lock was used just serve to frustrate everyone.
I have received reports about none of these.
Yeah, my coworker just pointed one of those dummy poles out to me a few weeks ago and it freaked me out 'cause I had no idea this was being done. Take a look at the base of a street sign and there should be a 3/4" bolt holding it in place. What they're doing is removing that bolt but leaving the sign there, so that it can be slid out easily and any bikes locked to the sign can be thrown in the back of a truck. Definitely take care when you're locking your bikes up outdoors; luckily, my bike spends most of its idle time either inside my office or inside my apartment.

Video_Drome said:
the second a bike gets stolen, its chopped up. Stolen bikes are very rarely sold "as stolen" to a bike shop.

also, if u lock up to a street sign, make sure no one has come by first and made the post "easily removeable" a good pull up on it to make sure its there for good is always a good idea.

i saw that on an MSNBC special on bike theft in major cities (chicago was the one that explained about the dummy parking sign poles)
Because there's been a spike in stolen bikes recently, I've added a special page to the Resources section for stolen bikes. It's accessible by the drop-down below the Resources tab, or at this link.
I found a "dummy pole" in front of the Ravinia one day, and in an act of good citizenship tried to call it in to 311. They didn't really know what I was talking about. So I wound up asking them to come put a bike rack there (I think my 2nd "custom-ordered" bike rack, thanks DOT!), and I might have told them the pole was knocked down, too.

The bike racks around State and Jackson really are city owned, and thefts from those racks really do need to be reported to Chicago Police by the bike owners. I'm sorry your friends were treated poorly by DePaul Security, but you also say that security filed an internal report, and it isn't clear to me what else you or your friends think they should have done in these situations. For all we know, security may be responding to the increased bike thefts by putting a sting together - unlikely, I'll admit, but I guess my question is, what else would you like to know they are doing?

I'm defending the DePaul Security because where I work it seems very much the same. If your bike gets stolen from the racks outside, and you report it to our security guard, she'll make a security incident report that somebody, somewhere is tracking; but you would still have to/want to report it to the real police. And we'll smile and apologize in a friendly way, but we won't let you use our phone for 10-30 minutes for a non-emergency, either.
Well Mister Bob, I think this might be interesting....What can Depaul do you ask? Well do you know how much it costs to attend Depaul University? 25k to 28k per student per year for full timers not counting PT/Commuting stuents...Can they afford to put in Bike racks inside there buildings...You Bet...Can they afford to have a larger security presence in an area known to have criminal activity...OFCOURSE...Could they even (stretching this as far as possible) afford to place a security officer at the bike racks outside for the entire year...You bet...How would I Know? Depaul Safety and Security start at $18.50 an hour plus insurance....that would be less than 2 students to cover this fictional officer.

And as far as the actual Depaul Safety and Security Department...Oh yes they can do more...Is your argument that the officer has only one phone line? Cause allowing a student to use their phone isn't cause of that (they have many phones ya know)...It's because they are running the University as a Company and letting a student use their phone would open them to the possibility of being involved in a liable suit. So, it's less about time and more about not caring about the students that make the position they have exist.

And I never ever said it was only a claim of Depaul Univ that the racks are not on there property I said they were hiding behind this fact so they didn't have to care.

Yes all thefts should be reported to the police...But do you know what that internal report is for? Not tracking of any kind...And certainly not to share with the Stolen Bikes Registry or even to keep a helpful eye on "hotspots" (they already know where the crimes are committed). It's to protect them from liability again. Let's say one of the students tries to sue the Univ in a year for the loss of a bike...The Univ will check their files, find this report where the student stated that the bike was not on the property and they are covered...And if she had never filed a report? Once again they are covered.

Did I miss anything?
Gabe said:
What can Depaul do you ask?

I think your many excellent suggestions for building secure on-site bike parking ought to be addressed to DePaul administration! Work with your department of Student Services or something similar. Get student government behind these great ideas. As I'm sure you'll agree, administrators aren't going to get these ideas on their own. Even the rare Head of Security who comes up with such good ideas based on the security incident reports that come across her desk isn't going to be able to take it very far without vocal student support.

The incident reports you filed with internal security should help bolster any cases you make to build more secure indoor bike parking or posting on-site guards. I'm worried that bringing these suggestions to the $18.50/hr rent-a-guards, whose duties are probably very narrowly constrained to what goes on inside the building, will simply not get your suggestions realized.

Yeah, it sucks about the discourteous service you got from the guards who couldn't let you use their phone, but at least they did tell you how to report the off-campus, non-emergency crime. You've also convinced me that not enough of your high tuition is being spent on bike security and infrastructure; and we already agree that institutions today are more concerned with their own liability than they are with customer satisfaction. We probably also agree that bike thieves really suck!

I wish you well in your new efforts. I used to lock up at that plaza every day for the 6 months I worked at DePaul before those bastards fired me. How I miss pigging out at Fast Foo's!
All locks can be broken!

But the placement of the lock and its size can make it much harder for a thief. I try to make my U-lock impossible to maneuver around so the only way to get it off is with a key, or bending the frame. If they really want it though they will have to work for a while. That is my only peace of mind.

I dont know about this forum... but I would love to do a group buy on these skewer locks for wheels

I've had those skewers break when torqued slightly above their recommended torque.


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