Bicycle Theft

Illustration on How to Correctly Lock Bicycle

Campus Police Launch Lock It or Lose It Campaign

In response to an increase in bicycle thefts locally, the Department is working hard to educate the community about bicycle theft prevention measures.

Read the Lock It or Lose It brochure online.

Unregistered Bicycle Removal

The college makes efforts to remove unregistered bicycles from campus to make more room for registered bicycles. Bicycles are removed regularly; be sure to register yours to be sure it will be allowed to stay on campus. Bicycle decals have an expiration date; check the date on your decal, especially if ownership has been transferred or if you took a leave of absence. If your decal is expiring, come in to obtain a free replacement decal.

Register Your Bicycle

While the beauty and rural atmosphere of the campus may make theft seem to be non-existent, unfortunately the campus is not completely isolated from the outside world. Every year we have an average of approximately 4 bicycles stolen. Many of the thefts are of bicycles that were unlocked or were improperly locked. The suggestions below are simple steps you can take to help prevent losing your bicycle. Always feel free to call us at the numbers listed in the right column if you have any questions or need assistance in learning how to protect your bicycle.

Keep your bicycle locked at all times, and use a strong lock:

  • Lock your bicycle even if you will only be away for a few minutes.
  • Campus Police recommend a case-hardened U-type lock, which is harder to cut or break than chain and cable locks.
  • Use of weak or inexpensive locks will not deter a thief; spend the extra money now for a better lock to avoid replacing your bicycle in the future.

Lock your bicycle correctly:

  • Be sure to lock the frame and the tires to the bicycle rack, not just one or the other. 
  • Often, a thief will take a tire from one improperly-locked bicycle and the frame from another. The thief now has one fully-functional bicycle, and two owners now have only parts remaining to their bicycles.
  • If you have any parts attached with a quick-release mechanism, be sure to lock these to the frame and to the rack. 
  • Lock your bike in a well-lit area if you use outside storage racks, and an area that can be seen well by passers by.
  • Lock bicycles securely in indoor storage rooms. Bicycles left outdoors, even if they are locked properly, are more vulnerable to theft.

Register your bicycle with Campus Police:

  • A sticker will be issued to anyone who registers their bicycle.
  • This allows the bicycle to be stored on campus during your tenure here, and also provides easy identification of your bicycle if it is stolen.

Participate in Operation ID:

  • Operation ID is a nationwide community crime prevention program that deters theft and assists in the recovery of property by providing a means of identifying the owner. The Campus Police Department will help you mark your valuable items. Call us for more information.

Report suspicious people to Campus Police:

  • If you notice someone "hanging around" a bicycle rack or if you notice suspicious people anywhere on campus, report this to the Campus Police. 

Keep records about your bicycle in a safe place:

  • Record your bicycle's make, model and serial number and store this information in a safe place.
  • In case your bike is stolen, you will have this information available, increasing the chance of getting your bicycle back if it is located. 
  • Safely store any sales receipts, when available, for proof of ownership, information on serial numbers, values, etc.

Bicycle Maintenance Tips

  • Check your bicycle frequently for worn or damaged parts.
  • Regularly inspect and adjust the seat bolts, handlebars, brakes, reflectors, pedals, wheels, chains, tires and spokes.
  • Have your bicycle repaired or inspected by a professional if you are unfamiliar with bicycle maintenance.

Bicycle Operation Safety Tips

  • When operating your bicycle, be sure to wear an approved bicycle safety helmet.
  • Use proper lights and reflectors, and follow all bicycle operation safety rules.
  • Ride with traffic on the same side of the street.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Yield to pedestrians in crosswalks, and do not operate your bicycle on sidewalks.
  • When operating at dusk, dawn or dark, be sure your bicycle is equipped with a functional white light in front and red light or reflector in the rear.
  • Wear reflective clothing.

Local Bicycle Dealer, Supply and Repair Shops

We are unable to recommend specific businesses, however, these businesses are provided as a service to our community:

Competitive Edge Ski & Bike Outlet
4 Northampton Street, Holyoke
413-538-7662

Northampton Bicycle
319 Pleasant Street, Northampton
413- 586-3810

Highland Hardware & Bike Shop
917 Hampden Street, Holyoke
413-539-9314

Peak Performance Bicycle Shop
77 West State St. (RT 202), Granby
413-467-2453

Mickey's Bike Shop
520 East Street, Chicopee
413-592-4282

Valley Bicycle Ltd.
319 Main Street. Amherst
413-256-0880