'Baited' bicycles catch Winthrop campus thieves

By Jamie Self

ROCK HILL -- "Bike Baiting," a new and affordable initiative at Winthrop University, is staving off campus bike thefts and leading to arrests.

So far, the program has led to five arrests, Winthrop Police Chief Frank Zebedis said.

Police started attaching GPS devices to three "bait" bikes in September 2010, placing the bait bikes among students' bikes around campus, some locked, some left unsecure - as college students often leave them, Zebedis said.

Once a thief takes the GPS-equipped bike beyond a certain range, the GPS device begins tracking the bike, sending its location to police, who begin their pursuit.

Before baiting, bikes were more difficult to recover. In 2009, 20 bikes were stolen, and police recovered one bike and made one arrest.

Throughout 2010, 16 bikes were stolen, including the eight bait bikes. Since September, police have recovered all the stolen bait bikes.

Police twice recovered the bikes without a suspect, who likely saw police responding, dumped the bike, and ran off, Zebedis said.

In each arrest, the suspects were adults, which came as a surprise, Zebedis said.

"I really anticipated that juveniles would have been on these bikes."

At less than $1,500, including materials and monitoring, the program has been a success, he said.

Read more: <a href="http://www.heraldonline.com/2011/01/16/2757459/baited-bicycles-catch-campus-thieves.html">http://www.heraldonline.com/2011/01/16/2757459/baited-bicycles-catch-campus-thieves.html</a>;

by B' Spokes

Like most people I live a hectic life and who has the time for much exercise? Thanks to xtracycle now I do. By using my bike for daily activities I can get things done and get an hour plus work out in 15 minutes extra of my time, not a bad deal and beats taking the extra time going to the gym. In case you are still having trouble being motivated; the National Center of Disease Control says that inactivity is the #2 killer in the United States just behind smoking. ( http://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/bb_nutrition/ ) Get out there and start living life! I can carry home a full shopping cart of groceries, car pool two kids or just get lost in the great outdoors camping for a week. Well I got go, another outing this weekend.
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