The Department of Public Safety caught a suspect linked to a string of campus bike thefts at about 12:20 p.m. today, according to Associate Director of DPS Joseph Smith.
A student who was the victim of a previous bike theft recognized the suspect at the bike racks near Red Square, Smith said. The student then called DPS, who responded immediately.
“I think it’s wonderful that a student showed wonderful community spirit,” Smith said.
DPS surrounded the area, according to Smith, and Sgt. Kandy Woehler — who was on bike patrol — was able to catch up to the suspect.
Woehler, along with other DPS officers, arrested the suspect on O Street. The suspect was on a bike he had allegedly stolen from another student. DPS called the student to identify his property, according to Smith.
The suspect was transported to the Metropolitan Police Department, and DPS barred him from campus and will be charging him with theft, Smith said.
Though he cannot be sure, Smith believes the suspect was involved in a recent string of bike thefts.
“We feel pretty confident that he was involved in a number of them,” Smith said. “We’re hoping this will have a pretty good impact on campus bike thefts.”
Smith said that the tip from a student was essential in catching the suspect, and that he hopes the campus community continues to work with DPS to prevent crime.
“That helped us take better action,” he said. “We’re working together to fight crime on campus.”
DPS reported 13 bike thefts so far this semester; this is an increase from previous years, according to Smith. There were 30 bike thefts in 2009 and 44 in 2010.