The University of Minnesota is trying a new tactic to bust thieves who go after pricey bikes on campus: bait bikes. In the fall of 2009, University police will plant bikes that can be tracked with GPS in some of the top-theft areas of campus. Think bait cars, but much less sophisticated.
In other words, take your cable cutters elsewhere. Or risk it and hope a quick resell won't get you busted.The last thing you want to be doing as a criminal is riding around town on a bike tracked by police.
More from the Minnesota Daily:
Bicycle theft is up from the same period a year earlier, in which 68 bicycles were stolen.A similar program at the University of Wisconsin Madison resulted in a 30-percent drop in thefts.
Police will use unclaimed and abandoned bikes as bait, and attach the hidden GPS system to the frame. If stolen, the bike will send a signal to police, who may track its location electronically and make an arrest.
The hardware cost for each GPS unit is around $1,000, along with a monthly monitoring fee, Miner said.
"In the scheme of things, it's a fairly reasonable small price to pay," he said.
The most surprising fact from the story: The average cost per bike stolen on campus was nearly $1,000. Are there that many students biking around on a $1,000 bike?