Bike thieves strike SAC

With a little help, a thief rode off with a $700 bike Tuesday, the latest in a string of recent thefts on campus, safety officials said.

The thieves worked in tandem. One used bolt cutters to break the cable, while the other rode away with the bike, said Lt. James Wooley, district safety and security supervisor.

The two are suspected of being part of a larger bicycle theft gang, but safety officials are not certain.

The thieves are described as two Latino teenagers with short, dark hair. One was seen sporting bolt cutters underneath his baggy shorts and gray sweatshirt. The other was spotted with a blue and white button-down shirt and jeans.

Three bikes have been stolen in a three-week span.

“It doesn’t sound like a lot, but that is their main form of transportation,” Wooley said.

The bike theft Tuesday afternoon near Middle College High comes days after a mountain bike was nabbed from the same area Jan 22. Wooley said the cable lock was cut and the thief made off with two bikes through Washington Avenue.

A beach cruiser without a lock was stolen south of The Drip Jan 31.

Thieves are targeting bikes with cable locks, Wooley said.

Several bikes at the racks east of Nealley Library are locked only by the front tire. Cyclist Fred Egeling has had three bikes stolen in the past 20 years and says these are easy targets.

“The front tire can be removed, and then you can walk off with the whole bike,” Egeling said.

Student Miguel Bautista said that he has cycled to campus in the past, and would do so again, but take the precaution of using a heavy-duty lock.

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“If you enable the crime, it’s going to happen. You might as well spend the money on a good lock,” Bautista said.

Using a heavy-duty U-shaped bike lock helps prevent thefts, said Wooley, who added that he has never seen a bike stolen with this type of lock.

“Thieves could use a portable saw to break it, but they haven’t gotten that sophisticated yet because so many bikes have cable locks,” Wooley said.

Video courtesy of RSCCD District Safety and Security

LEFT: Campus security cameras spot the thief riding off to the Washington Avenue exit. RIGHT: One thief hides bolt cutters under his clothes after he cuts the lock of the bike.