More than 200 bikes were impounded in February, according to USC Department of Public Safety crime and fire logs. In one day, more than 20 impounds were reported.
Capt. Edgar Palmer, the DPS Operations Bureau commander, said thefts of bikes and unattended property account for the highest rate of crime at USC. To prevent such thefts, DPS impounds any bikes that aren't locked up.
"So what we found is the bikes that are stolen the most are the ones that are not secured at a bike rack or not secured at all," Palmer said. "And when a bike is not secured at a bike rack or not secured at all, it's eligible for impound."
Palmer said DPS crime statistics are connected with LAPD's, which include bike thefts.
"When bikes are stolen, they drive our crime stats through the roof, and that in turn gets reported to LAPD because our crimes stats are their crime stats," he said. "And when their crime stats are up, it looks like we're not doing what we're supposed to be doing here."
Students are supposed to lock their bikes to a solid structure, Palmer said.
"I don't know what makes a student feel that they can park their bike and just get off of it and lock it wherever it's free standing and walk away from it. That would be my question," he said.
Students can recover their impounded bikes from the DPS office in the Downey Way parking structure. Palmer said registering bikes makes recovery easier because there is a system that alerts owners if their bike has been impounded.
When bikes are impounded students will have to pay $20 to retrieve their bike.