String of Bike Thefts Ends in Arrest

The first month of fall term saw a rash of reported bike thefts reported on campus. The Campus Public Safety Office increased efforts to stem the trend, contacting individuals found loitering around the bike racks across campus and issuing them Portland State exclusion notices that bar the subjects from campus.

Several of the individuals contacted were found to have tools associated with theft and burglary on their person, such as wire cutters and tin snips—tools often used for cutting the cable locks, are a common way students secure their bicycles to bike racks.

On separate occasions in the first four weeks of fall quarter, CPSO was able to arrest five individuals—Robert Charles Dady, Jacqueline Anderberg, William Duke, Trevor Johnson and Edward Duncan—in connection with bike thefts on campus. Charges included unlawful possession of burglary tools, attempted theft II, attempted theft III, criminal trespass II and various other charges involving narcotics.

Dady, who was arrested by CPSO on Oct. 2 for unlawful possession of burglary tools, attempted theft II and a felony warrant, was arrested again by the Portland Police Bureau on Oct. 15 for similar charges in connection with bike thefts that occurred in the Pearl District.

According to PPB’s press release after the arrest, the investigation started when a bike theft victim witnessed a suspect, later identified as Dady, riding a bike that had been stolen. PPB’s Central Precinct Neighborhood Response Team, in working with several business in the Pearl Disctrict and reviewing surveillance footage, was able to connect Dady with many of the bike thefts that had occurred in the area. The press release also states that the investigation discovered “that Dady used wire cutters to cut cable locks on many of the bikes that were stolen.”

Clint Culpepper, supervisor of PSU’s Bike Hub, said an increase in bike thefts on campus at the start of the school year is no coincidence.
“Bike thieves know when school starts and deliberately come to campus during that time,” he said. “Downtown areas and college campuses in general have a tendency for higher bike theft numbers, so we have both of those things working against us.”

In their press release, PPB outlined the following list of “proactive measures” for bicyclists to help protect themselves from bike theft:
“*Use U-locks! Most stolen bikes were reported as having a cable lock that was broken and left at the scene; very few bikes using U-locks were reported stolen.”

“*Individuals living in secure residential apartments should not leave their bikes outside their rooms in the hallways or unlocked in the basement. Either lock it with a U-lock in the basement or keep it inside your personal apartment. Additionally, do not assume your secured business area is secure either—always lock your bike.”

“*Consider double locking, especially in areas where bike theft is common.”

“*Take a photo of your bike—if stolen, you can post the specific information and photo on has teamed up with to help battle against bike thieves.”

CPSO Chief Phil Zerzan said that CPSO agrees with the advice outlined by PPB, especially with regard to U-locks.

Zerzan advised students to use U-locks because thefts where one is used properly are a rare occurrence. Zerzan also recommends using the bike garages located throughout campus.

“We have yet to have a bike theft out of one of the bike garages,” Zerzan said.

“We’d love to see every building have a secure room or garage for bicycles,” Culpepper said, “we think that’d be awesome, but there’s a lack of space [to consider].”

The bike garages are available for a fee—$15 per term or $45 annually—and are secure, have cameras and are swipe-accessible 24 hours a day. The fees are also prorated, so the cost decreases as the year goes on.

Culpepper agrees with Zerzan’s advice on being proactive in preventing bike theft.

“There are huge things you can do to help yourself, like getting a U-lock,” he said. “You need a proper lock. U-locks are the only lock we sell at the Bike Hub—we don’t sell cable locks because we’re not going to sell something that we wouldn’t use ourselves.”

Culpepper also advises students to not leave their bikes outside for extended periods of time if they can help it.

“Never leave your bike outside overnight and certainly never over an entire weekend,” he said.

There are outside bike racks available at every building, complete with illustrations depicting the proper way to lock up your bike and the advice to not rely solely on a cable lock, which can be easily cut with a simple pair of wire cutters.

“A big thing we see is new students or students new to riding to campus using cable locks or other locks that aren’t secure enough,”
Culpepper said.

And in case your bike does get stolen, Culpepper said that knowing its serial number, make and model is very important.

“This information will help you in reporting it to CPSO or PPB and will help make finding your bike easier,” he said.

Also, there are online databases, both local ( and national (, where you can list your bike as stolen.
Culpepper said the Bike Hub is in the process of creating its own campus registry as well.

“We’ve been looking to implement our own voluntary, web-based bike registry, not as a preventive measure, but as a proactive measure in helping students recover their bicycles if they get stolen,” he said.

The Bike Hub is a little community within itself, Culpepper said, and they’re here to help.

“We have the tools and everything necessary to walk any member through repairs they want to learn to do, from changing a flat tire to a complete overhaul on their bike,” he said. “If members forget their U-lock, we can loan one out to them for free for the day.”

Bike Hub membership for all current students, staff and faculty is $15 for three months or $30 for a calendar year, and gets members discounts on parts and accessories, and as well as the free U-lock loan. (For non-members this service is $1).

“Having a bike stolen is the number-one thing that prevents people from continuing to ride their bikes to campus. Everyone I know has had a bike stolen, and it’s a big deal,” Culpepper said. “A lot of it is informing people. If no one’s told you to use a U-lock instead of a cable lock, how will you know?”