Bicycle thefts in St. Albert on the decline
Invest in a good quality lock: RCMP
By: Amy Crofts
| Posted: Saturday, Aug 17, 2013 06:00 am
For those who rely on their two-wheeler to get around, having your bike stolen can be a hard and expensive pill to swallow.
But residents of St. Albert can be reassured knowing that the theft of bicycles in the city is falling.
Over the past five years, the number of bike thefts peaked in 2010 with a total of 52 reports. Just one year later, the number fell almost 40 per cent to 31.
Bike snatches have remained consistent since, with 14 thefts reported in 2013 so far.
St. Albert RCMP said only in once instance was a bike stolen that had been locked up, the rest were left unlocked.
“Although some bicycles are being stolen from residential areas, there seems to be more bikes taken from around busy areas such as malls or restaurants where the bike owner may be out of sight of the unlocked bike for a longer period of time,” said Cpl. Laurel Kading with the RCMP’s St. Albert detachment.
“(We) recommend locking bicycles up with the solid metal locks that are difficult to cut with bolt cutters – even when the bikes are stored in the backyard.”
For most cyclists, some simple advice includes securing their bikes with cable locks – either key or combination. Some cable locks may not be the securest, but if cyclists are investing more money in their bike, a sturdy metal U-lock is recommended.
Bikes should be locked to a fixed, immovable object or a permanent bike rack with part of the frame and at least one of the wheels secured by the lock. However if there are quick release wheels the best wheel to lock up is the rear one since it would be the most expensive to replace.
Bike thief’s dream
Kading said it is difficult to pinpoint why there has been a drop in the city’s bike thefts, other than the RCMP have concentrated on bike patrols for the last four summers.
Officers talk to the public about cycling safety and spread the message that the best way to prevent theft is to invest in a good quality lock.
Earlier this week, the Edmonton Police Service (EPS) sent out a news release that bike thefts are expected to increase during the month of August. The “preventable crime” has shot up 30 per cent in the past year alone.
“People are buying beautiful, high-end bikes that cost $1,000 or more, and they’re locking them up with $10 locks that can be cut-off within seconds,” said Const. Shawn Wruth with EPS.
Preventing theft is easy and inexpensive compared to the cost of replacing a bike, which is why EPS advises cyclists to invest 10 per cent of the cost of their high-end bike into a good quality lock.
Similarly, RCMP are urging people to record the make, colour and serial number of their bicycles because if stolen and specific identifiers aren’t known, the probability of returning the two-wheelers to their rightful owners is low.