Summer bike thefts worry commuters

, Beacon Correspondent/strong

Like any other weekday this past July, senior visual and media arts major Hana Carpenter rode her bike to the Walker Building and locked it on the no-parking sign with a cable wire.

When she got out of work, however, Carpenter walked outside only to notice her bike missing and her lock still attached to the pole.

“I knew when I didn’t see it there, it was stolen,” Carpenter said. “I was surprised it happened in the middle of the day. It seemed that the thief tried to cut my lock, but then just broke the part that goes into the barrel.”

Carpenter went right to the police, but said they told her there was nothing they could do.

She was one of four victims of bike theft at Emerson during the summer months, according to the Emerson College Police Department. In an attempt to make students more aware of the crime commuters are facing, officers placed warning signs throughout campus last week.

“There have been no thefts since school started, but since there were four [bikes] taken over the summer, we try to keep students alert,” said Lt. Eric Schiazza.

According to the messages warning students, the bicycle bandits acted in the daytime, breaking through cable locks with bolt or wire cutters.

To prevent further thefts, Schiazza said students should use the rack in the bike room at 19 Boylston St., which is host to 50 bicycle parking units. For $5, bike permits can be purchased from property management. There is also an area designated for students with bikes in the rear of 180 Tremont St., Schiazza said.

Like Carpenter, junior journalism major Laura Franzini had her bicycle stolen from the apartment building she lives in over the summer. This semester, however, she said she is taking extra precautions.

“If someone’s going to steal a bike, they’re going to steal it,” Franzini said. “There’s only so much you can do.”

Carpenter said she is also taking the appropriate steps to keep her mode of transportation safe.

“I shelled out the 40 bucks and bought a U-Lock,” she said.  “I feel a lot more confident with the U-Lock.”