MAASTRICHT. Randwijck is suffering a wave of bicycle thefts. Nineteen bicycles have disappeared from the locked bicycle storage under the university library since July. “A very disturbing case, we don’t know what to do,” says location manager Allert Andela.
“In the beginning, we thought that the thieves climbed over the railings and then lifted the bicycles over,” says Andela. “That’s when we attached steel cables across the top, but it didn’t help. Bicycles were still disappearing.”
We are going to replace all entry keys soon. A total of four hundred have been issued to employees (the facility is for personnel), but over the years, keys will have been copied or stolen, says the location manager. “We hope that this measure will put an end to the thefts.”
Six weeks ago on a Saturday evening, the police caught two men red-handed when they were carrying bicycles in the direction of the bushes along the railway lines. “The police also carried out a minor investigation at the time, but I never heard anything more.”
Security guards have been alerted and they are monitoring the security cameras that are aimed at the entrance, extra carefully, says Andela. “It usually happens during the weekend, when it is extremely quiet here. A pair of wire-cutters does the job before you know it. It’s not just the expensive bicycles that are stolen, but also rickety ones that wouldn’t have survived an internal clear-out. For a long time, the Debyeplein was popular among thieves, who could quickly escape into the nearby neighbourhood.”
Another possibility is that UM employees are the ones who are stealing. “Yes, that is possible, employees who are in desperate need of money or something …. Let’s not think about that yet.”