Bikes are disappearing from the 800s bike racks!


Tessa Casper

Bicycles have been disappearing one by one from the unguarded bike racks at CHS. art | Tessa Casper

Claremont is often considered a place of safety, with little criminal activity. Yet recently stolen bikes may have changed students’ opinions on how secure they feel their belongings are when they go to school.
Over the past year, bikes have disappeared from the racks that students leave them at when in class. The 800s bike racks are the most popular on campus, with hundreds of spaces for bikes to be locked in. However, as an utter surprise, there is a lack of visible cameras — despite the many other security cameras placed strategically around the school, watching for illegal activities such as drug usage and vandalism. A camera that is always watching can often warn off would-be thieves, as theft reports to the Claremont Police Station are filed if a bicycle is missing. With this flaw, at least four bikes have disappeared this year — while that may not seem like many, it is a tremendous loss for families and students who expected to use those bikes for many years to come. Sophomore Michael Clocksin was directly affected by the recent thefts.
“I was going home from theatre tech and I was going to bike home at around nine o’clock,” Clocksin said. “I saw it when I was coming back from running after school. From four to nine, I thought it was still there — but it wasn’t.”
In addition to being stolen after school on a school day, bikes have also been stolen on the weekends and during football games — which begs the question: who is doing this, and what is their motivation?
Clocksin believes that whoever stole his bike had a monetary interest, as it was expensive and would have sold at around $700 used. He has since been using his father’s bike or getting a ride to school instead.
Contrary to Clocksin’s hypothesis, though, the “thief” did not seem to be interested in black-market dealing for at least two bikes. Stolen bikes have appeared at Cahuilla Park and by the entrance to the 210 freeway on Baseline. This raises the possibility: was the thief just a teenager looking to make some mischief? Or did they have more nefarious reasons?
Whatever the motivation is, it heeds a warning to those using the 800s bike racks to remain cautious and keep their eyes out.