Theft is theft. Last week, UR Security stole unlocked bikes from the campus without leaving any notice other than briefly checking with nearby academic departments. While security did have the noble intention of preventing bike theft, it does not change the fact that officers engaged in the same illegal activity that they wanted to prevent. In its actions, security was horribly misguided.

While a bike left unlocked in a bike rack may be stolen and never recovered, it is far better if it is never missing in the first place.

Following the logic used by security in this case, if a student were to leave his room unlocked, security could empty the room without leaving any notice.

This is, quite simply, thievery.

There are other ways of preventing theft without resorting to it under the guise of “safekeeping.” Instead of taking an unlocked bike in order to protect us from ourselves, security could simply secure the bike with a U-lock, and attach a note that informs how to contact security so that it can be unlocked. This would help alleviate some of the frustration that comes along with the realization that security has breached one’s trust.

Security did happen upon a good idea when officers decided to attach fliers to bikes secured with cable and chain locks. The fliers, which should have been attached to all bikes for the benefit of all bike owners, neglected to include important safety information like registration programs.

In addition to using a U-lock, there is a city-wide bike registration program that may aid bike owners in the event a bike is stolen. While security does encourage participation in this program by having information available, there is no information in either the “THINK SAFE” report or fliers. To further aid in securing bikes, security should make bike registration mandatory and sell U-locks to all students at bike registration.

When the bikes were confiscated by security, the department did not use any of the ways of contacting the community, as listed in its “THINK SAFE” publication, which include bulletin boards, the security web page and the UR VISION TV network, among others.

Further steps can be taken toward preventing bike theft. One of the best ways would be to have indoor bike storage in residence halls. While the bike should still be locked inside, it would at least make things harder for would-be criminals such as UR Security.

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