Title: Bicycles and Crime at OSU

Dates Occurred: Oct. 7, Nov. 5, Nov. 12, and Nov. 17, 1993

Copyright (c) 1993


Subtitle: Theft of My Bike Seat and Seat Post

Date Occurred: Oct. 7, 1993

Date Written: Oct. 11, 1993

Written By: Joel T. Kant


I went outside of my dorm to my bicycle. The seat and seat post had been stolen. Typical for my luck in Columbus. By the way, I am back in Columbus after being in Cleveland for the summer.

I had cabled the seat to the frame and that cable had been cut. The cable was designed for this purpose and looks like a smaller version of a cable bike lock for the entire bicycle.

Unlike the city police from last year who wouldn't even take information in a phone call when my truck had been broken into because it was after four pm, an actual in-the-flesh bicycle-helmeted campus cop showed up after I called. Since I am on campus, I deal with the university police now rather than the city police.

I showed him the cut cable. He said that this is the first time he has seen a seat stolen that had been cabled to the frame. He added that usually thieves take the easy route and steal the seats that aren't locked down.

The cop, who traverses campus on a mountain bike, said that the police bikes have quick-release seat posts. He said that the budget got cut so that the seats aren't even cabled down like mine had been. He expects to find his seat stolen one day.

For $26.30, I bought a new seat post and a used seat. The bike shop had a box marked, "Used Seats." I wonder if the crooks just wander campus collecting bike seats and then bring them to the bike shop to be resold to whoever they got stolen from. However, I didn't see my former seat at that particular bike shop.

I'm glad I had a large, U-shaped Kryptonite lock on the bike. Since the thieves had a cable cutter, I doubt my bike would have been there at all this morning if I just had a normal cable bike lock.

I mentioned this theft to another friend of mine. He had much more frustrating crime happen to him two weeks ago. While at the gym, somebody cut the padlock on his locker. Not only did they steal his wallet, but also his clothes and glasses. He hasn't gotten the glasses replaced yet. He said he sometimes has trouble reading the blackboard without them.


Subtitle: Similar Cable Lock for Seat

Date Occurred: Nov. 5, 1993

Date Written: Nov. 17, 1993


The group of students I was working with disbanded for supper. We had been working on a statistics experiment which had been going poorly. Outside, Fred went to his bike and I headed toward mine.

I noticed Fred had a small cable between the frame and seat.

I said, "I wouldn't trust that little cable to keep your seat from being stolen. I had one like it, and it was cut."

I held up my bike seat in my hand which I hadn't yet put in as I had carried it with me into the building to prevent thefts like the last one, "This is a replacement that cost me twenty-six bucks."

Fred, looking like he felt it was hopeless to take such a precaution as taking his seat with him, said, "I've already had two bicycles stolen while at O.S.U."


Subtitle: A Water Bottle Left on a Bicycle

Date Occurred: Nov. 12, 1993

Date Written: Nov. 17, 1993


As I unlocked my bicycle outside the Veterinary building after class, I looked over at Ajeet. He was also unlocking his bike. I noticed he had left his water bottle attached to his bike all through class.

I asked, "Aren't you worried someone will steal your water


Ajeet replied, "I've already had two bicycles stolen on this campus. One of them was locked with a U-lock, but they still got it."

He sighed and resignedly added, "If thieves want your bike, they will get it."


Subtitle: My Bicycle's Loosened Front Wheel

Date Occurred: Nov. 17, 1993

Date Written: Nov. 17, 1993


At about quarter to eight this morning, I rushed out to my bike. I was running a little late, but could still get to class in time if I rode quickly.

My bike was where I had left it, locked to the rack. I no longer leave the seat on the bike, so was carrying it in my hand. I put that in. I unlocked the first U-lock around the frame and rear tire. The U-lock consists of a black-plastic-coated steel bar bent into the shape of a U about eight inches tall. A second straight bar, with the lock mechanism, closes the open end of the U.

Next, I went to the second U-lock around the front tire. With all the stories about bike thefts, I have switched to having two U-locks when I leave the bike overnight. If my dorm room where any bigger, I would bring the bike up to my room every night! I leave one U-lock attached to the bike rack outside the dorm during the day, and instead use one U-lock and one cable lock. I find it more convenient to use two locks rather than removing the front wheel and trying to get it through the same U-lock as that locking the frame.

The front wheel's quick release was undone. I suspect somebody had been trying to take it before realizing it also had a U-lock through it. Some people have laughed at me using two U-locks on one bicycle, but it saved me today.


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