I was heading to the University of Arizona to take a final exam in my MBA program. I was a few minutes early and decided to park my bike on the south side of McClelland Hall next to the Olive underpass so that I could do a little extra studying. (Check out point A in the photo.)
As I pulled up there was a man sitting at the table (B) facing toward the bike racks. Something seemed off about him and he seemed sketchy.
He sat there and watched while I locked the bike. I had a quarter inch cable that I ran through the wheels and attatched to a six inch u-lock, which was locked through the frame.
The guy seemed a little too out of place and a little too interested in the bike racks. I finished locking up the bike and walked into the building, but watched from around the corner.
As soon as I got inside the building, the man, who was wearing a gray bandanna, black t-shirt and black athletic shorts, got up and looked like he was walking away, but then he circled back and walked between the bike racks. He stopped and peered a little closer at my bike. It seemed like he was looking to see how the bike was locked.
I started to head out toward my bike when he started walking really quickly toward the stairs into the parking garage (point c).
At that point I decided I wasn’t going to leave my bike there. I was concerned he was going to get a tool to try to steal my bike. I unlocked the bike and started riding toward the secure enclosure I rent across campus. At the same time I called the police and told them the story. The dispatcher I talked to asked if the man had a backpack or any tools. I was impressed she knew to ask that.
I got my bike locked in the enclosure and hoofed it back to McClelland. As I was walking up, I saw a police officer walking around the area.
I stopped him and told him I was the person who called and what happened.
Interestingly he said police tried stopping someone who fit that description earlier in the day, but he disappeared.
I have no idea what he was doing. Perhaps he was just admiring my bike, but it certainly didn’t feel right. I wish I could have gotten a photo.
Have you ever had an encounter with a bike thief? What did you do?