Crimes Against Property

Bicycle Theft:

In recent years Oregon State University and the surrounding neighborhood have gone through periods during which bicycle thieves have targeted the area. Here are steps you can take to deter bicycle theft and if it does occur, to help in the possible recovery of your bicycle.

  • Lock your bicycle.
  • Leave your bicycle in a visible, well-lit area.
  • Avoid leaving your bicycle locked outside overnight. If at all possible, lock your bicycle inside your room or a bicycle storage room.
  • You should always lock your bicycle through the frame and both wheels to a bicycle parking rack, preferably a rack with a thicker frame. Lock all free parts of the bicycle as well, or take them with you. If you lock only the front wheel you may return to find only the front wheel.
  • Make sure your lock is adequate for the task. Bike thieves often check out bike racks looking for "bargains," the best bike with the cheapest looking lock. The U-shaped locks have proven to be the most effective but like all locks or chains they can be defeated. Use a high-end U-shaped lock to reduce the chances of the lock being defeated. You should also exercise care in where and how you lock your bicycle.
  • Register your bicycle (PDF Form). This service is free of charge and can be done through the Department of Public Safety in Cascade Hall.
  • Record the serial number of your bicycle. If your bicycle is stolen, report the theft to the police and give them the serial number. If the bicycle is recovered it can then be returned to you.
Purse/Backpack/Tote Bag Protection:

Never carry anything you can't afford to lose.

  • Carry your purse across the front of your body, with your forearm across the front of the purse and your elbow held tightly against your side.
  • Carry your keys, wallet or other valuables in your clothes pockets.
  • Carry minimum amounts of cash and credit cards. Keep a record of all of your card numbers.
  • Don't leave it on the seat of your car or somewhere visible inside your vehicle.
  • Keep zippers and flaps secured on backpacks. Don't store wallets and valuables in your backpack.
  • Carry totes that zip or have securable flap closures. Don't carry an open tote.
Security at ATMs:

Be careful when using an automatic teller machine, especially when getting cash. To increase your level of safety at automatic teller machines follow these basic guidelines:

  • Try to use the ATM during daylight hours. If you have to get cash at night, go with someone else and only use machines that are visible from a major street and well-lit.
  • Look for suspicious people or activity.
  • If you notice anything out of the ordinary, even if you have started a transaction, cancel your transaction and leave.
  • When entering your secret code, use your body as a shield.
  • Always take your transaction receipts and statements.
  • Do not count or display money at the ATM.
  • Do not accept offers of help from anyone you don't know. If you have problems or questions contact your bank.
  • Protect your access code. Memorize your access code; don't write it down and or carry it with you.
  • Don't use an access code that's the same as other word's or numbers in your wallet.
  • Never tell your access code to anyone. (Including bank employees, the police, etc.)
  • Never lend your ATM card to anyone; treat it like cash or a credit card.
  • If you lose your ATM card, notify your bank or credit union immediately.
Electronic Equipment:

Electronic equipment has become an integral part of the student's personal property inventory and some items are crucial to their academic success. Register all property through the Operation ID program.

  • Document and engrave all personal property and equipment.
  • Registration helps to deter theft and aid in returning recovered property. On the registration form, you will list descriptions of valuable items, serial numbers, and owner engraved identification. (Driver's License # in the following format: OR1234567DL)
  • If an item is stolen and you have the serial number, along with Drivers License number engraved on the property, the item can be entered into a state/national Law Enforcement computer system and can be identified anywhere in the U.S.
  • Registration Forms and Engravers are available in the office of Oregon State Police/Department of Public Safety in Cascade Hall.
  • Secure your property within your residence. Lock your door even if leaving for a short while.
Textbook Theft:

In recent years Oregon State University students have been the targets for thieves who steal textbooks in order to sell them back. They may also be in search of other valuables students leave in their book bags. Here are some steps you can take to prevent this.

  • Always put your name in your book.
  • Avoid leaving your books unattended, including in the library, coffee shops and on the racks by the dining halls.
Protecting Your Vehicle:

Vehicles in parking lots always present a target for thieves. Here are some steps you can take to diminish the chance that your car will be broken into or stolen.

  • Lock your car whenever it is unattended, both on and off campus.
  • Do not leave expensive property, such as CD cases, purses, radar detectors, cell phones or portable stereos in plain view inside your car. Lock them in your trunk or take them into your residence. Cover up conspicuous stereo equipment. Remember that thieves target after-market stereo equipment, not factory installed equipment.
  • Record the brand, model and serial numbers of all electronic equipment installed in your car. In the event of theft, give this information to the police. If the equipment is recovered it can be returned to you. Also engrave your driver's license number on this equipment. An engraver is available for your use at the Department of Public Safety. (Operation ID)
  • If you live off campus, make every attempt to park your car off the street, if possible. If not, park in a well-lit area.
  • Oregon State Police/Department of Public Safety and Parking Services strongly recommend that students not leave their vehicles on campus during holidays, Winter or Spring breaks. If students do choose to leave their vehicles on campus, it is suggested they park their car in the "Student Parking" lot located south of Washington, east of 15th St, and north of the railroad tracks. This is a paved, well-lit parking lot that is frequently checked by campus officers.
  • Engrave your Vehicle Identification Number (found on your registration or under the windshield on the driver's side) on the doors, windows, fenders and trunk lids of your car. This will prevent theft, because the thief will need to replace these parts before selling the car. An engraver is available for your use at the Department of Public Safety. (Operation ID)
  • Use a steering wheel lock when your car is parked. While these devices can be defeated, a thief may decide it's not worth the effort.
Protecting Your Residence (Res Halls / Co-ops):

You can take several steps to protect the belongings you have in your residence.

The majority of thefts that occur in residence hall/cooperative house rooms happen when the residents are not in but the door is unlocked. Lock the door to your room whenever you leave, even if it is just for a few minutes. Also, lock your door when you will be showering or sleeping. If you live on the ground floor, lock your windows. If you discover that your door or window does not lock, leave a maintenance request to have it repaired. Don't leave exterior doors or inner lobby doors propped open when they should be closed. If you find a window open, close it.

  • Record the serial numbers of valuable objects you have in your room. Engrave such objects with your driver's license number. An engraver is available at the Department of Public Safety for use by students.
  • Do not leave cash, credit cards or checks in unlocked desks or cabinets.
  • Mark clothes with a laundry pen or thread and needle in a spot other than the label.
  • Do not allow people you don't know well to stay overnight in your room.
  • If you see a suspicious person, notify Oregon State Police/Department of Public Safety immediately by calling 7-7000 or 541-737-7000. Be prepared to give a description of the person, where you last saw the person and the direction he or she was headed if applicable.
Protecting Your Residence (Off Campus):

You can take several steps to protect the belongings you have in your residence. Lock the doors and windows to your residence whenever you are away and when you are in your residence and may not hear someone enter, such as when you are sleeping. If you have a sliding glass door, secure if further by placing a length of wood in the track on the floor to stop it from opening.

  • If your doors do not already have one, talk to your landlord about getting a deadbolt.
  • Do not leave valuables and expensive equipment in plain view from the outside.
  • If possible, get a dog. If this is not possible, make it appear as if you have a dog. Get a large dog bowl and large chain and keep them in plain view.
  • When you are away from your residence, leave your interior lights on. Use a timer if you will be gone for more than one day.
  • If there is a Neighborhood Watch in your area, join it. This organization will be able to keep you up-to-date on criminal activity in your area.
  • If you will be gone for several days, inform a neighbor you can trust. Stop delivery of your mail and newspaper. Use light timers in several rooms.
  • Record the serial numbers of all your valuables and engrave your valuables with your driver's license number. An engraver is available for your use at the Department of Public Safety. (Operation ID)
  • If you have an answering machine, don't leave a message that indicates you're away from home.
  • Use outside lights at each entrance to your residence. Make sure the lights are turned off during the day.
  • If you see a suspicious person, notify the local police. You can reach the police by calling 911 from anywhere in Corvallis and Benton County. Be prepared to give a description of the person, where you last saw the person and the direction he or she was headed at the time.
  • If you do arrive home to find that your residence has been broken into, do not enter, go to a public phone or neighbor's house to call the police by dialing 911.