Bike Thieves Target COS Bicyclists


Louie Vale

Surveillance camera captures female suspect. Photo courtesy of COS District Police.

Louie Vale, Photographer / Reporter

(Visalia, Calif.) – With Spring semester almost to a conclusion and the weather warming up, Thieves are targeting COS Bicyclists for those with a non-securable lock such as cables and chains on bike racks.

COS Chief of Police, Kevin Mizner received a report of a bike theft at around 4:05 pm on March 13. It was determined that the female, who was not identified, stole the bike from the John Muir bike rack. The female was also with a male at the time the bike was stolen. The male was not caught on camera due to him fleeing from a different direction of the John Muir building. The female suspect was last seen heading towards Mooney Blvd.

“It’s not anybody that we dealt with,” Mizner says. “We don’t have confirmation from Visalia PD if they know who she is. We were told that she looks familiar. One officer we spoke with said she looks familiar but, I can’t tell you who she is but, I think it is somebody we seen around.”  

Mizner looked up a few statistics from 2016 to 2019 and has seen a significant decrease from students locking up their bikes towards a public place and with more security using a u-lock.

  • 2016, 22 thefts
  • 2017, 20 thefts.
  • 2018 End of September, 5 thefts.

During the Spring semester, two bikes did not have u-locks. One of the bikes was a cable lock and the other with chains which became easily for thieves to get their hands on.

To prevent yourself from ever getting your bike stolen in the future here are ways to securely lock your bike:

  1. Use a quality u-lock that is attached to the frame and object that you are locked into
  2. Record your serial number and take photos of your bike
  3. Model and make of your bike
  4. Register here at the COS District Police
  5. Park it in a public area where there is lots of foot traffic.

If you can’t afford a u-lock, visit the COS District Police and ask for a u-lock loan document. You must be a COS Student on campus and sign the form for an officer or representative to loan you the u-lock. The loaned u-lock must be returned by the end of the semester. If not, the student will be charged $25 dollars. There is limited quantities of u-locks available.

As the weather warms up, COS Police Officers will attach a notice on the students bicyclists handlebars warning them that cables or chains are not a very effective lock and to seek a u-lock whenever possible. If you believe that your bike is stolen call in the District Police as soon as possible.

Anyone that suspect any suspicious activity, students can use TipNow anonymously at (559) 715-2918 or dial 911.

For questions regarding loans on u-locks can call the District Police at (559) 730-3999.