Most people wouldn't be brazen enough to steal from the police, but that's exactly the risk you pose if you attempt to steal a bicycle on UCF's campus.
"Bait bikes are owned by the police department, and they're left around campus. The bikes are equipped with GPS trackers so that if a thief steals a bike, police are notified and know where to find them," said Courtney Gilmartin, public information office for the UCF Police Department.
The bait bike program was started in 2011, and in 2014, 78 bikes were reported stolen, 27 of which were bait bikes.
On Thursday, officers and detectives from UCF PD educated students about its bait bike program, which aims to help protect student property.
From 2 p.m. to 4 p.m., UCF PD handed out "This Could Be a Bait Bike" stickers in front of the Recreation and Wellness Center. By adding a sticker to their bikes, students are encouraging potential thieves to think twice before stealing.
"Theft is the No. 1 crime at UCF (and any university, for that matter), so the bait bike program is a good reminder that it is simply never OK to take someone else's property," Gilmartin said.
UCF PD provided laptops to students in order to register their bikes and other valuables with the police. The service is free and can be completed online.
"By entering an item's make, model and serial number into the software, UCF Police and other law enforcement agencies have access to details that can aid in property recovery in the event an item is lost or stolen," Gilmartin said.
UCF PD will be handing out more stickers at upcoming property-registration and engraving events:
-Tuesday, Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at the John C. Hitt Library
Tuesday, Feb. 24 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the John C. Hitt Library and from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. near the Hercules Community Room
Wednesday, March 4 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Ferrell Commons courtyard
Alex Wexelman is a Senior Staff Writer for the Central Florida Future. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.