With the weather at Butler University finally warming up, an influx of theft—particularly of bicycles—is occurring.
Five bicycles were reported stolen to Butler University Police Department between March 29 and April 3.
Most recently, a tire off a bicycle outside Ross Hall was stolen on April 12.
BUPD Detective Bruce Allee said despite bicycle theft becoming more common recently, he doesn’t think the number of thefts on campus—of bicycles or other personal items—is much different from the norm.
“We’ve had a couple spikes, and that has made it kind of high profile,” Allee said. “On average, I don’t think we’re that much above (where we normally are). We’ve had those clusters of thefts, which have prompted alerts on campus.”
In addition to the spur of recent bicycle thefts, Allee said electronics thefts at Gallahue Hall and the Pharmacy Building in February also boosted overall theft figures.
As it pertains to bicycles, a majority of the thefts are taking place not near academic buildings but on the north end of campus at Apartment Village and University Terrace.
Allee said BUPD is putting more focus on the area, especially at night. He also said he has basic descriptions of those who may be involved, adding that they do not live on campus and are “pretty active thieves throughout the county.”
It is important for students who have a bike stolen to know two crucial pieces of information if they hope to have it found.
“No serial number (and) no definite timeframe, there’s very little chance of the bike getting recovered,” Allee said.
Butler has not been immune to other thefts and types of crimes this spring, however.
A moped was reported stolen from a house on Berkley Street on April 10, and pocket change totaling less than $2 was stolen from a car the following day.
On April 12, a clarinet was taken from Atherton Union, and on April 14, a purse was snatched from a vehicle.
Additionally, a laptop and an iPhone were stolen from an off-campus residence on March 17, and a gas-powered blower was stolen from one of Butler’s facilities buildings on March 20.
Allee said Butler community members always need to be aware of where their personal belongings are, specifically electronic devices.
“If you wouldn’t leave money lying out, please don’t leave your electronics lying out,” Allee said, “because that’s quick cash for a thief. They have no remorse, (and) they don’t care who it belongs to.”
Theft was an issue at Butler early last spring as well.
According to the university’s crime logs, 21 thefts of varying nature were reported between March 20 and April 12 last year. Only two of those, however, were listed as bicycle thefts.
Allee said one thing that does have him baffled this year is the number of vandalism crimes occurring.
He said the most common vandalism crimes have been side mirrors being broken off cars, graffiti and building windows being broken.
“That one just goes right over my head,” Allee said. “I don’t understand the mentality there.”
Allee said that while Butler students can do certain things to prevent theft, BUPD must also do its part and educate the community.
“A lot of kids, especially who are living off campus, maybe (we can) prepare them better with the information,” Allee said. “That comes back to us. That’s our department.”