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UCF police crack down on bicycle thefts with "bait bike" technology

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Updated: 8/19/2013 10:16 am
ORLANDO, Fla. (WFTV) -- As University of Central Florida students head to campus for the first day of the fall semester on Monday, UCF police are cracking down on the growing problem of bicycle thefts.

University officials said around 100 bicycles were stolen last school year. To battle the growing problem, police are beefing up a program that began two years ago.

The 38 bike racks around campus stay packed with bicycles on a daily basis during the school year.

"I need it every day," sophomore Jeffrey Price said of his bicycle.

Price relies on his bike to get to and from school and he's glad campus police have a program to crack down on the thefts.

"It should be pretty effective from what I've seen," Price said.

Police officials said there are now five bicycles in its "Bait Bike" program. The bicycles are left randomly around campus to attract the thieves.

"They're equipped with GPS tracking so as soon as the bait bike activation goes off in our discharge center, they notify us and the officers close in using GPS technology," Officer Pete Stephens with UCF police said.

Police said the self-monitoring program doesn't use up resources, yet still enhances crime prevention efforts on campus.

"We want the bad guys to know that UCF police are here 24/7. We do protect our students and if there's a theft problem going on, we're going to address it," Stephens said.

Officials said the program has resulted in 12 arrests since 2012 and many offenders are coming in from off campus.

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