University Village issues alert citing increase in bike thefts

Andrew Kuo/Staff

Staff members of University Village, the UC Berkeley graduate student family housing complex in Albany, posted an alert to their website last Thursday cautioning residents about an increase in the number of bicycle thefts on the premises in recent weeks.

Between May 13 to May 27, a University Village police log linked to the alert indicates a total of nine bicycles stolen from residents as well as one attempted theft. Bicycle parts, including a seat, were also taken from two other bicycles.

“There has been an unusually high number of bike thefts in the Village,” the alert reads. “Many had been securely locked and parked in the private patios.” The alert also encourages residents to report any theft to UCPD.

While bicycle thefts are not uncommon in the Berkeley area, UCPD Lt. Eric Tejada said that his department is taking extra measures to decrease the incidence of theft.

“We’ve been stepping up enforcement in terms of high-profile patrols with police cars,” Tejada said.

Tejada explained that UCPD employs a security patrol officer to exclusively monitor the University Village premises for any suspicious activity.

Tchiki Davis, a UC Berkeley psychology doctoral candidate, had her bicycle stolen when she first moved in almost a year ago.

“When I moved here, my friend said it is a rite of passage to get your bike stolen,” she said. “So, once my friend told me that, I felt better about it.” Without a bicycle of her own, Davis now uses her husband’s bicycle to ride to work and no longer locks it outside.

Mike Maldonado, a social welfare graduate student who has lived at the University Village for more than two years, believes vandalism and theft at University Village is getting worse.

“I’ve noticed, within this last year, a lot more broken glass of windows outside,” Maldonado said. “To me, it just shows cars have been being broken into much more as well.”

Others feel the online crime alert is too little and too late.

Miguel Leon, whose bike was vandalized a few days ago, said there is a lack of effort on the part of University Village staff to make residents aware of bicycle security.

“There should be fliers or something around,” Leon said. “I don’t know if anyone checks the University Village website.”

Representatives from the Residential and Student Service Programs could not be reached for comment about bicycle security in university housing.

Contact Chase Schweitzer at [email protected]