A Bowdoin student reported seeing three teenage males stealing a bike outside of Druckenmiller Hall on Monday night at approximately 10:30 p.m.

The student reported the incident to the Office of Safety and Security, continuing the ongoing investigation into a series of recent bicycle thefts.

Director of Safety and Security Randy Nichols wrote in Tuesday campus-wide email that two of the suspects allegedly served as lookouts, while the third used bolt cutters to cut through a bike lock. The teenagers reportedly fled after seeing the student make the call.

According to Nichols, an average of 35 bikes are reported stolen annually.

Yet in the month of September alone, 17 bikes have been reported missing, while six have been successfully recovered.

The high number of thefts has resulted in numerous emails from Security cautioning students to lock up their bikes and be wary of suspicious individuals on campus.

"Bikes are the most commonly stolen item on campus in any given year," said Nichols. "From time to time we run into these periods where we have an increased number of bike thefts, usually when you have a small number of people on a bike-stealing spree. We've been dealing with some of that lately."

Security has collaborated with the Brunswick Police Department on the cases.

Once these suspects are identified, Security believes the number of thefts will begin to decline.

"The fact is," said Nichols, "suspects are people in the local community, and so if we want these people prosecuted, which we do, then we need to be working with the police because you need a police complaint in order to initiate a prosecution."

While many of the bike thefts have occurred because students left bikes unlocked—allowing both thefts and "borrowing" by other students—Monday's bolt-cutting case confirmed that sometimes locking is not enough.

"Certainly lock your bike," said Nichols. "Try to leave it in a safe, well-lit area, or leave it inside. Also be alert to any suspicious activity or suspicious people on campus. If you see anything, report it to Security immediately."

Sophomore Sam Burnim's bike has been stolen twice, both times when it was unlocked.

The first theft took place last fall, but he recovered the bike after seeing another student ride it past him. The second theft occurred in late August, and though the bike was registered, it has not yet been found.

"I think Security is handling the situation as well as they can," said Burnim.

"I like the fact that they've got this registration system because it provides students, in the event that the worst happens, a way to get your bike back," he said.

"Once you make an apprehension or two," stated Nichols, "things seem to die down pretty dramatically. That is, until the next thief comes along."