ASU police reintroduce bicycle registration

1.24_Get in Gear

Students lock up and leave their bikes in one of the most populated racks on the Tempe campus Thursday evening. ASU Police are hosting a contest to get students to register their bikes on campus in order to prevent theft on campus. (Photo by Jessie Wardarski)

Get in Gear, the ASU Police bicycle registration program, is hosting a contest through March 8 in an effort to deter bicycle theft while earning prizes.

After the first Get in Gear contest in fall 2012, close to 5,000 student and faculty bicycles were registered. Police expect the new contest to bring in at least 1,000 more.

Each individual who registers a bicycle before March 8 will be entered into the contest for the chance to win prizes.

ASU Police officer Brian Kiefling, one of the organizers of the program, said it was difficult for police to get students and faculty to register their bicycles before Get in Gear was put in action.

“We would advertise on our webpage, put booths in the (University) malls and anywhere in the community,” Kiefling said. “With that alone, we still weren’t getting the numbers that we were looking for.”

The database held approximately 500 ASU student and faculty registered bicycles.

“We started the contest, and we got a little bit more,” Kiefling said.

Although the contest does attract more campus bicyclists to register their bicycles online, Kiefling said the contest should not be the only incentive to register.

“Bike theft is one of our biggest crimes on campus,” Kiefling said. “The Get in Gear program was designed to let students know that we do have a place where they can register their bikes.”

Tempe Police originally conducted the registration through the Tempe Fire Department, where bicycle owners would fill out an information card and drop it in a box. Those who registered their bicycles had to search the box for their card if their bicycle was lost or stolen.

Kiefling said after the card numbers reached to approximately 14,000, police saw the method was no longer effective.

He said students and faculty should register their bicycles through the local registration program because bicycle theft is so common in Tempe.

“This program is more local because we have a local problem here,” he said.

Kiefling said once students and faculty register their bicycles in the ASU Police online registry, the information remains in the database permanently.

“This registry lets (officers) go back and get your information if you lost (your bike). And it may be that you don’t even know it’s stolen yet,” Kiefling said. “Since the beginning of the year, we’ve already arrested seven bike thieves specifically using the registration program.”

He said most of the owners of these stolen bicycles were unaware their bicycles were stolen.

Police were able to notify the owners that their bicycles had been stolen and located using the registry.

Students and faculty can register their bikes for free online at any computer or at Get in Gear booths on campus.

Winners will be drawn twice a week and a grand prize winner will be drawn at the end of the promotion.

Those who register online will receive the chance to win prizes ranging from event tickets to iPods. Prizes will remain unknown until the various winners are drawn.

 

Reach the reporter at wpogden@asu.edu or follow her on Twitter @whitneyparis10