Police crack down on bike theft

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Bike thefts continue to be a problem in San Diego, which is understandable, considering how many people like to cruise on two wheels, but cops are fed up. To deal with the issue they are adopting a new investigative tool that will bait the bad guys and catch them in the act.

“You have to not only lock it up around the middle but you have to get the wheel too, because otherwise they’ll just steel the wheel from your bike.”  Kate Hamilton lives in Pacific Beach, she’s talking about her bike and the steps she takes to make sure it isn’t stolen.

“I’ve got one of these locks you wrap it around the wheel and the frame. Tighten it up with a really weird code that’s not easy to guess.”

Millions of bikes are stolen every year across the county. To be fair it’s what law enforcement calls a crime of opportunity because people leave them unlocked, but in Pacific Beach, bike thefts accounts for a good portion of their overall crime, and now the cops are fighting back – using bikes as bait to catch the bad guys in the act.

“It is a GPS technology hScreen Shot 2013-06-20 at 4.58.55 PMidden in several bikes, we locked them in a secure place, in several different areas,” said Lt. Tom Underwood, adding “in this it’s the beach area.”

For obvious reasons officers don’t want to reveal exactly what the device looks like or where it’s hidden on the bike, but once it’s tripped it will only take minutes for officers to track them down.

“Within one week of trying out the technology we had two guys in custody that were out there stealing bikes.”

Right now it’s just a small scale pilot program, but they expect funding for a full roll out mid summer. Like a lot of Pacific Beach residents, Patrick Steers uses his bike instead of a car. It’s been stolen 3 times.

“You have to lock them up, that’ll help,” explains Steers, “but get good lock – not one of those cheap ones.”

And that, say the cops, is the best defense.

“Wherever they lock it up,” laughed Lt. Underwood, “to make sure it’s secured to a strong structure like a medal pole or bike wrack.”

“I guess its probably a good thing to put it on something that is nailed down,” said Kate Hamilton, “that’s probably something I’ll start doing.”

14 comments

  • Esco

    The bigger the cable the better, Go through the handle bars ,wheels , frame and anything else you can get the cable through. And pick what you lock it too carefully. If you get a cheap lock and cable or lock it wrong, you'll become a pedestrian real quick. Go with two cables if possible in the bad areas too..

    • Michael

      Thanks! I lock mine up at Petco and evidently never use enough of that cable. Lucky thus far. Sometimes you don't think about it till you hear/see it.

  • Michael

    Loved this "Medal pole" & "bike wrack" typo. Anyhow, I'd like to see them bring this to South Park. I keep my bikes inside my small place because three neighbors have lost a total of 5 bikes in 2 years. One got his back off Craig's list and with the assistance of the SDPD. I am STOKED the SDPD cares about our rides!

  • Michael

    What would also help is them letting bikers know which locks work best. I have a cable lock, but those can be cut, what do they see as working vs. not?

  • Max G

    whos that sexy gurl at the beginning and end???
    is she a celebrity or something?!
    she could be a model

  • Tokyo Jim

    "Millions of bikes are stolen every year across the county."

    I highly doubt that! The whole county only has 3 million people, and only a very small percentage ride bikes. I'd say "thousands" is probably more like it. That, plus all the typos in this article exude a complete lack of professionalism on the part of Fox5. Gee, now I remember why I never watch local news.

  • Chris

    Just had my second bike stolen in about a three month period. I'm homeless right now and used them a lot. The second bike was locked with a good lock and the front wheel was wrapped twice around a steel pole with the cable. The thief just got a good cutting tool and cut right through it and left the lock laying on the ground as if to say, "I got you!".

    Thanks a lot you heartless thief! I'm a veteran and homeless and you steal my bike. I have no place to store it so I won't be buying another one anytime soon. Those bikes helped me lose 30lbs in the last 6 months.

    To be honest, I'm heartbroken that some cruel punk would do that to me or to anyone. If it's not yours then don't take it.

    Just my two cents.

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