University police make arrest with aid of 'bait bike'by Dan Olson, Minnesota Public Radio
Minneapolis — University of Minnesota police say their decoy bike helped them arrest a campus bike thief.
University Deputy Police Chief Chuck Miner says the specially-equipped bike was stolen in late September. Similar to so-called bait cars used by police to foil car theft, the bicycle is equipped with a tracking system that sends its location to a police computer, Miner said. A motion sensor notifies the police dispatch center when the bicycle is being moved, and a camera is trained on the bike.
The alleged thief took the locked bike outside a U West Bank. Police arrested a man whom they describe as a chronic campus bike thief.
Police report 127 bikes have been stolen from the University's Twin Cities campuses this year. University officials estimate as many as 6,000 students, staff and faculty use bikes for commuting. Bike theft is the number one campus property crime problem, police said.
At the same time, campus police are stepping up enforcement against bicyclists. In the past two weeks, campus police have issued 70 citations to bicyclists riding in pedestrian-only areas.