In the time it took to purchase a sandwich from a shop in downtown Boulder, Nancy Trigg’s bike was cut from its lock and stolen.
The Boulder resident ultimately found the bicycle at an alleged chop shop and was able to retrieve it with the help of the Boulder Police Department. It wasn’t registered, Trigg said, but she had photographs of a large dent on the bicycle that helped confirm it was hers. She’s since placed a sticker reading “Please don’t steal my bicycle. Thanks.” over the dent.
While bicycle theft is not a new phenomenon, Trigg noted that something about it feels different.
“What’s different now is it’s blatant,” she said.
Indeed, bicycle theft is on the rise across Boulder County. Both Boulder and Longmont reported an increase in the past year. In Boulder, more than 1,000 bicycles valued at about $1.9 million have been stolen in 2020 from individuals and bicycle shops. In years past, the city reported an average of 700 bikes stolen annually.
Travel east to Longmont, and the story is similar. According to Longmont Police Sgt. Matt Cage, 211 bicycles have been reported stolen this year, an almost 10% increase from the year prior.
“Most property crimes are up all across the state, including Longmont,” Cage wrote in an email.
Although people self-report the value of their bike when it’s stolen, the Boulder Police Department said the average value of each stolen bicycle is more than $1,000. The figures extend through early December.
“Stolen bicycles are a chronic problem here in the city of Boulder,” Boulder Police Strategic Data and Policy Advisor Beth Christenson said in a Dec. 10 town hall meeting.
As such, the department has begun a targeted effort to combat the problem by teaming up with Bike Index, a nonprofit that helps people register their bicycles. The free service helps law enforcement locate and contact people who own a stolen bike that’s found.
“If your bike is stolen and you have registered it and it is found outside the jurisdiction, other agencies can quickly find where the bike is from and who it is registered to,” Christenson said.
Bryan Hance, co-founder of Bike Index, said he helped start the nonprofit organization when he realized that it made sense to have a central place for bike shops and cyclists to go to register bikes and search for stolen ones.
Marketplace in August reported that the disrupted supply chain led to a bicycle shortage. Hance referenced that shortage and other impacts of the coronavirus as some of the reasons for the rise in theft.
“It’s been a really busy year for bike thieves,” he said.
People often send the Boulder Police Department photos and videos of suspected bicycle chop shops, or places where stolen bikes are taken apart so parts can be sold or used on other stolen bikes. However, spokesperson Dionne Waugh said it’s difficult to
BARSTOW, Calif. (VVNG.com) — A couple of Barstow juveniles were arrested for vehicle theft after attempting to run from officers, officials said.
At about noon on Thursday, March 26, 2020, deputies from the Barstow Police Department observed a male juvenile run out of the QMart store on May Avenue with a bottle of liquor.
When the officers attempted to stop him he fled. The officers eventually caught the male and arrested him, officials said.
According to a news release, “they confirmed that the male stole the liquor and returned it to the store. The male was issued a citation for the theft and released to his parent.”
At 3:50 pm Barstow Police Dispatch Center received a report of a stolen vehicle. The victim reported that she left her Ford Focus running for a few minutes as she went into her home and in that time someone stole it.
Detective Lewis located the vehicle in the 700 block of East Virginia Way occupied by a driver and passenger. Upon seeing the officers the male driver and male passenger fled on foot, officials said.
Officers were able to catch the male driver and place him under arrest. The officers recognized the male as the same one who had stolen the liquor earlier in the day at QMart.
The officers continued to search for the passenger and located him at Lillian Drive and Kelly Street. He was also placed under arrest.
Both male juveniles were booked at the Juvenile Hall in San Bernardino for VC 10851 – Theft of a Vehicle.
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This guide addresses bicycle theft, beginning by describing the problem and reviewing the factors that contribute to it. It then identifies a series of questions to help you analyze your local bicycle theft problem. Finally, it reviews responses to bicycle theft and describes the findings of evaluative research and operational policing. It will be apparent that despite the various responses being advocated or implemented, there are no systematic evaluations of what works to reduce bicycle theft. Addressing this is important for police practice, as the evidence base should inform decision-making regarding appropriate responses. However, we already know a lot, and this guide outlines how such knowledge (including a portfolio of responses) can usefully inform the crime reduction enterprise. In addition, it identifies what information you need to better understand your local problem and effectively evaluate responses implemented.
This guide refers specifically to the unlawful taking of nonmotorized pedal cycles. Bicycle theft can be further categorized into theft of and theft from bicycles. Awareness of these categories is important for understanding your local problem. Each category covers different offenses demanding different responses.
Theft of bicycles describes the theft of a cycle frame and its components.
Theft from bicycles describes the theft of components and accessories such as lights, seats, and wheels. As bicycles are of composite construction, they are particularly vulnerable to component theft, especially regarding “quick release” features.
Although this guide covers both forms of theft, unless otherwise stated, most of the research and practical examples focus on the prevention of theft of bicycles. This is simply because cyclists are more likely to report theft of bicycles to the police, largely to meet insurance requirements.
Bicycle theft is but one aspect of the larger set of theft- and vehicle-related problems that the police must address. This guide, however, is limited to the particular harms bicycle theft causes. Related problems and topics not directly addressed in this guide-each requiring separate analyses and responses-include the following:
thefts of motorcycles,
thefts of mopeds and scooters,
fencing of stolen property,
thefts of and from motor vehicles,
Some of these related problems are covered in other guides in this series, all of which are listed at the end of this guide. For the most up-to-date listing of current and future guides, see www.popcenter.org.
General Description of the Problem
Bicycle theft is typically seen as a low police priority, its impact and magnitude often overlooked because police often consider incidents on a case-by-case basis. This picture is often misleading, however, and when viewed at the aggregate level, bicycle theft represents a much larger problem, one with harmful economic and societal effects that warrant greater police attention.1
The Rise of the Bicycle
The bicycle has become increasingly popular as a healthier and environmentally friendlier mode of transport.2 In London, for example, cycle use has increased by 83 percent between 2000 and 2007.3 In the United States, between 1992 and 2006, bicycle sales have increased