Sept. 6, 2019

Five effective ways to prevent bike theft on campus

This video from experts in Campus Security will show you everything you need to know to keep your bike secure
Security guys on bikes
Learn how to keep your bike safe on campus with this story. University of Calgary

For many students at UCalgary, bicycles are their main mode of transportation to and around campus — and it’s no secret why. Biking is inexpensive, excellent exercise and environmentally sustainable. But, for those who have their bikes stolen, Chief of Campus Security Brian Sembo says it can be a major disruption to their lives.

“When a bike is a student’s primary mode of transportation and it gets taken from them, it’s a very significant loss personally as well as financially,” Sembo says. “But there are proven strategies students, faculty and staff can use to prevent this kind of loss.”

Here are Campus Security’s five effective ways to prevent bike theft:

1. Watch the UCalgary Campus Security bike theft prevention video

Preventing bike theft continues to be a top priority to UCalgary and Campus Security. This video will give you the tools you need to keep your bike secure, especially on our university campuses.

2. Don’t just lock it, lock it right

Though Sembo says the campus community typically does a good job locking their bikes on campus, many do not use the proper technique.

“Bike thieves know which bikes are vulnerable and which are not just at a glance, and they don’t risk stealing bikes that costs them too much time or effort,” he says, adding that most thefts take less than 10 seconds from beginning to end.

bike diagram

How to lock up your bike

University of Calgary


  • Choose the right lock, not the least expensive.
  • Lock your bike to a bike rack, or to something that cannot be cut, lifted or removed.
  • Lock your bike in a well-lit area with high foot traffic and good visibility.
  • Lock your bike using a multi-lock system that makes bikes harder to steal (see diagram).
  • Make sure your lock is a tight fit.
  • Take the seat with you.

3. Use secure bike lockers

If you bike regularly on campus, you may want to take advantage of bike lockers on campus. Both Foothills and main campus have secure bike locations for an affordable $30 per year.

4. Lock up to bike racks, not objects

Though most of the campus community is using bike racks around campus to lock their bikes, Sembo says locking bikes to trees, poles or other objects is not a great way to ensure your bike’s security.

“Bike racks are specially designed to secure bikes, and are located in places where there is high traffic or security cameras,” Sembo says. “Lone bicycles around campus are easy pickings for bike thieves.”

5. Report thefts and suspicious behavior

If the worst happens and your bike is stolen from campus, report it to Campus Security online, by phone or in person. You can also report suspicious behaviour, and even upload photos, using the HelpLine/TipLine module in the UC Emergency Mobile app.

Thefts can also be reported to