Stolen rides: USM deals with three bikes stolen from the Portland Campus in a matter of two days
By Chris Tiner- Staff Writer
With the University of Southern Maine opening its doors to a new residence hall on the Portland Campus, Portland Commons, and new student center, McGoldrick Center for Career and Student Success, this fall, there is still a lot to figure out with getting students used to living their best life on campus in Portland. The University of Southern Maine decided to dedicate a huge portion of their new residence only parking garage to a bike storage area for students to store their own personal bike on campus, as well as multiple bike parking racks located in front of Portland Commons and McGoldrick Center. This effort by USM is a part of their sustainability plan that they used while planning the new buildings and parking garage to help the campus be more eco-friendly, encouraging students to use more transportation methods in Portland, such as the bus and biking, since there are a lot of things in close biking distance in the city.
On the eighteenth and nineteenth of October, three bikes were stolen from the Portland campus between the areas of the McGoldrick Center and Portland Commons. All current University of Southern Maine students received an email from USM’s Police Services Dispatcher, Amanda Giampetro, on October nineteenth in the early afternoon. The incident description section of the email contained the following: “Starting yesterday evening three bikes have been taken from the bike rack between the McGoldrick Center and Portland Commons. All three bikes were locked up and the locks were cut. It appears that it is the same individual that has taken all three bikes but we have not been able to get a clear view; if you have any information please contact Public Safety by calling 207-780-5211, emailing [email protected], or submitting a report through Campus Eye on the Public Safety website.” The email also shares tips to avoid a bike theft happening to students on campus that may own a bike, including getting your bike registered with the University of Southern Maine so it can be properly stored in the parking garage. You can find this timely notice printed out all over the USM Portland campus to raise awareness for students, and anyone on campus. Finishing off the email, there were safety tips from the Department of Public Safety at USM.
While bike thefts are something that have been a problem in Portland for a long time, reports say in recent months bike thefts have increased in Portland significantly. Notably, local news station WMTW Channel 8 News discussed this topic recently, stating that officials in Portland claim that nearly one hundred bikes have been stolen in Portland since the beginning of June, which averages out to roughly five bikes a week. They then go into detail of ways to protect your bike, and how to report a stolen bike to officials. The full article can be found at https://www.wmtw.com/article/bike-thefts-portland-maine-tips-precautions/45596638*
As of today’s date, October twenty-third, the bike thief has yet to be caught. As the email notice says, if you have any information at all about the situation, or witnessed the theft happen, please get in contact with the public safety number, (207)780-5211, email [email protected], or submit a report thorough Campus Eye on the Public Safety website for the University of Southern Maine. Also, don’t forget to register your bike for free with the University of Southern Maine’s Public Safety office in Gorham. This process ensures help in recovering lost and stolen bikes, and serves as a way of identification to use for your bike in that unfortunate circumstance. It also provides you with an enclosed and locked area to store your bike in the new parking garage on the Portland campus. Even better than all that, it’s free, which all students love to hear.
Remember to take care of your belongings, and make sure they are properly stored, locked up, and kept in a well lit, busy area. The Portland campus is a beautiful place for all people at the University of Southern Maine to live, and an incident like this should not worry people about their safety living on the Portland campus. However, it is important to remember that it is highly recommended while living in a city to take extra precaution for your belongings in case of a theft.