Georgetown has experienced a spike in bicycle thefts recently, with eight stolen bikes reported to the Department of Public Safety in the past four weeks, following a trend in Northwest D.C.
According to DPS Director Darryl Harrison, eight bicycle thefts is a high number, but an increase in thefts is not unusual early in the school year.
“It has been a real problem that the local jurisdictions have tried to address,” he said.
Harrison added that bicycle thefts have increased throughout Northwest D.C. and are especially prevalent on college campuses, including American and George Washington Universities. Bicycle thefts have been on the rise throughout the metropolitan area, according to The Washington Post.
Bicycle thefts have increased throughout the Foggy Bottom area, according to a recent report in the GW Hatchet. There were six bicycles stolen on the GWU campus within the first week of school, The Hatchet reported.
Nathan Fosters, a Metropolitan Police Department officer for the Second District, said that he receives “quite a number of stolen bike reports,” especially from students.
Recently, the number has been at least “a couple reports each week,” Fosters said.
Fosters said that students can work with MPD to protect their bicycles from being stolen.
Because many thieves spot a locked-up bicycle outside and can quickly use a pair of pliers to break the lock and nab it, Fosters recommends “keeping [your bikes] inside [and] hanging them up.”
Fosters recommended that students register new bicycles with the Second District in the case of theft. DPS also provides students with registration papers in their office and sells “adequate” bicycle locks, Harrison said.
Still, locked bikes are also potential targets, both on and off campus. Juliana Pugliese (COL ’10) had two bikes stolen last year.
“One was stolen on campus and one was stolen off,” she said. “I think that it was negligence on my part because the one off campus was there overnight, but they were both locked each time.”
Even if a bicycle is locked, parts of it can still be removed and stolen, Pugliese said.
“I think that vandalism [of the bikes] is more of a problem, because when someone takes your seat off of the bike but leaves the rest of the bike, that’s no good either,” she said.