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Caltech Timely Warning - Motor Vehicle and Bike Thefts

October 27, 2023

Motor Vehicle & Bike Thefts

October 27, 2023

This Timely Warning is being issued in compliance with the Jeanne Clery Act. The purpose is to provide preventative information to the campus community to aid members from becoming the victim of a similar crime.

Theft of Motor Vehicles –

Caltech Security has recently received six reports of motor vehicle thefts (two vehicles, three electric scooters, and one electric bike) and five reports of stolen bicycles. The thefts have occurred both overnight and during business hours, and in locations across the campus.

Most of the reported bike thefts on campus involved unlocked bikes or bikes secured with a less secure lock, such as a cable lock, that the thief was able to cut through. Caltech Security encourages all campus community members to register their bike or scooter and to use a hardened steel U-lock to properly secure their property. Individuals who do not currently have a U-lock may receive a free one through the registration process.

In response to these thefts, Caltech Security has increased both foot and vehicle patrols. Contact Caltech Security at (626) 395-5000 to report any suspicious persons. Do not confront them.


There is no suspect description available for any of the incidents at this time.

Information and Resources

While victims of crime are never to blame for criminal activity, there are some preventative measures and precautions that can be taken to reduce the likelihood of crime. To protect yourself and your belongings from theft and/or facilitate the recovery of your stolen property, Caltech Security encourages you to follow these tips:

  • Immediately notify Caltech Security at (626) 395-5000 or 5000 from any campus phone if you believe a crime is occurring, has occurred, or is about to occur.
  • Report to Caltech Security person(s) acting in a suspicious, alarming, or unsafe manner.
  • Report individuals who "tailgate" or enter secure buildings and restricted areas without keys or the proper credentials.
  • Register your bike or scooter with Caltech Security. The service is free-of-charge and simple, and will assist Caltech Security in identify and assisting in the recovery of stolen property. If you do not have a harden steel U-lock, you may be eligible to receive on for free through this process.
  • Properly secure personal belongings and vehicles. This may include removing expensive accessories from access or view, including bike seats, bags, bottles, and lights.
  • Securely lock your vehicle or secure your bike to a rack with a U-lock. To do this, hook the lock through the frame and at least one of the wheels. Visit the National Bike Registry for a more comprehensive guide to securely locking a bike.

It is important to remember that the Caltech campus is in an urban setting and shares many of the crime and safety issues that exist in a city.

Caltech Security is investigating these crimes and requests assistance from the Caltech community. Please contact Caltech Security at 626-395-4701 or 4701 from any campus phone, with any relevant information. If you wish to leave an anonymous tip, please call 626-395-8787 (Caltech Hotline).