APD Alert: Increase in Scooter and Motorcycle Thefts in West Campus

  • Location Reported:
    West Campus

Summary:

The Austin Police Department is currently seeing an increase in scooter and motorcycle thefts in West Campus. Scooters are especially easy to steal because they are generally just picked up and thrown into another vehicle.

Please read the following safety tips from the APD Auto Theft Unit:

Lock

Use a disc lock to help secure the front brake disc or a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls. You could also use a D lock on the front wheel to stop it being wheeled away.

Chain

Thieves often steal a bike by breaking the steering lock and wheeling it away. Use a chain lock through the back wheel because the front wheel can be removed. Secure your bike with the lock taut to an immovable object such as a ground anchor or street furniture. This will stop thieves from cutting a lock trailing on the ground using an angle grinder. If this isn’t possible, thread the chain through your bike frame and back wheel.

Cover

Thieves often "shop" for particular bike models. Using a cover instantly makes it less attractive to them. A cover also provides another time consuming obstacle for the thief.

Remove the keys

Thieves are often opportunists and so they will look for bikes that are quick and easy to steal first. Always use the steering lock and remove the ignition keys, even if you are close by or away for a few minutes. It only takes a few seconds for a thief, so don’t make it easy for them. Never rely on just using your steering lock to secure your bike as thieves can break the steering lock and simply wheel the bike away.

Alarm

Fitting an alarm can be a deterrent to thieves. Consider fitting an alarm system with tracking, immobilization, anti-grab, and movement sensors to help protect and trace your vehicle. This could also reduce your insurance premiums.

Property mark the parts

Marking as much of your bike as possible will make it more difficult for criminals to sell parts, and therefore less attractive to steal. It will also help police identify parts and return recovered stolen bikes or scooters. There are a range of bike marking providers that you can use. When at home the best place to keep your motorcycle, moped, or scooter is in your garage or shed. Garage and shed alarms as well as low level dusk to dawn lighting will also enhance security. Fitting a ground anchor also provides extra security. Install video surveillance systems. You can purchase motorcycle lockers which are also available to store your bike at home. No shed or garage? Park in the safest place you can. Park it in an area near to your home where it’s well overlooked with good lighting. Try to park in an area that has good video surveillance or install a good video surveillance system.

If You Have Any Information about recent thefts:

  • Off campus: The Austin Police Department is actively investigating the incidents. Call APD at 311 if you have any information about these crimes. Call 911 if you see a crime in progress.

Campus Resources:

Download the LiveSafe at UT Austin app to instantly text or send photos and videos to UTPD dispatch. 

Oct. 16, 2020