Most students at the University of Miami rarely have to think about crime on campus. Like previous years, the University of Miami Police Department announced the biggest threat to campus this semester was theft of unattended property.
Alexandra Martinez, crime prevention officer for UMPD, said in the past few months the city of Coral Gables has seen an increase in the number of bikes stolen, which also has affected the UM community.
“When we see a rise of bike thefts in Coral Gables, the tsunami eventually gets to us,” Martinez said.
In order to receive an on-campus bike permit, students must fill out the registration paperwork and receive a bike lock from UMPD. However, because this year the paperwork was moved to an online system, many students skipped the second step and didn’t pick up their locks.
Sophomore Myles Griffith said the bike racks have become more and more crowded in the past few months.
“I’ll have to lock up my bike father away from my dorm because there are no spots,” said Griffith.
However, even with the recent increase in bike thefts, Martinez mentioned that unofficial numbers still indicate they’re below the numbers at this time last year, attributing the success to communication and awareness of the issue from the university community.
Earlier in November, UMPD sent out an email blast reminding students to lock up their bikes. The email also included photos of suspects from previous bike thefts.
“The moment that we see those numbers go up, we jump on it. Education, email blasts, whatever it takes,” Martinez said.
UMPD usually sees the crime increase during the fall semester rather than the spring semester. Specifically, burglaries increase during the wintertime as people are trying to come up with the money to buy presents for the holidays.
“Theft of unattended property has always been the biggest issue, which is 100% preventable,” Martinez said. “Don’t leave your things unattended for a second. It will grow legs and it will vanish.”