Several bikes were stolen from the Crittenden Middle School campus last month, despite multiple safeguards to avoid further thefts from the campus during school hours, according to school officials.
In an email to parents, Principal Sonia Gomez said two additional bikes had been stolen from the campus on Nov. 20, adding to the tally of ongoing bike thefts reported at the school. School staffers, aware of the problem, were on guard to avoid further thefts, including moving bike racks closer to the bike cage, frequently monitoring the area and having police officers patrol the campus.
"Despite these efforts, we had two additional bikes stolen today," Gomez told parents in the email.
The Mountain View Police Department confirmed it had received four reports of bike thefts since late August, including a reported theft on Oct. 29, three thefts on Nov. 14 and two thefts on Nov. 20. In these incidents, it appears that the suspect or suspects cut bike locks during school hours and took the bikes, according to police spokeswoman Katie Nelson.
Officers have made it a higher priority to patrol the area following the thefts, Nelson said, but that doesn't mean a security guard or officer is monitoring the bikes at all times.
Part of the problem is that so many students are bicycling to school, they're filling the campus bike cage to the brim and causing a spillover into the bike racks, where the thefts take place. Gomez said the school added another bike cage as a preventative measure last week, and that she advised families to purchase a U-lock to secure bikes in the interim.
"We highly encourage you to add an additional lock to secure your student's bike while we work to increase bike cage storage," Gomez said in the email.
Police have not received reports of stolen bikes since Nov. 20, Nelson said.