Red Deer RCMP said the number of bike thefts is on the rise. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Red Deer RCMP said the number of bike thefts is on the rise. (File photo by Advocate staff)

Bike thefts climb in Red Deer

RCMP warn cyclists

Red Deer RCMP urge cyclists to protect their bicycles after a recent string of thefts.

“We’re seeing a lot more bikes on the streets and trails this year because of COVID-19. It’s a great way to stay active and a physically distant activity that can be done with friends and family, but more bikes on the street also means more potential targets for thieves,” said RCMP Const. Derek Turner, with community policing.

RCMP said they typically see an increase in bike theft complaints in the spring and summer. But in the last week alone, there were nearly a dozen reports of stolen bicycles in the city.

Last week, Red Deer RCMP laid charges against a 31-year-old man after he stole a bait bike in downtown Red Deer.

“Bait bikes are one tool we can use to deter theft and also catch thieves in the act,” said RCMP Cpl. Dwayne Hanusich, with the downtown unit.

“Just like with bait cars, we park our bait bikes in visible areas and conduct surveillance on the bike to see if it will be stolen. If it is, we move in and arrest the thief.”

Police recommend bicycle owners take steps to avoid bike theft by:

  • Keeping bikes in a locked shed or garage when not using it.
  • Securing bikes with one or more heavy-duty locks that are difficult to cut.
  • Removing all accessories such any fitness tracking electronics, lights, and bells when not in use.
  • Avoid parking bikes in the same place every day.
  • Record your bike’s serial number and register it online with 529 Garage.

RCMP said it only takes a few minutes to register a bike and get a tamper-resistant decal that lets potential thieves know your bike is registered with 529 Garage. Registration is free, and if a bike is stolen, an alert can be sent to the 529 Garage community to be on the lookout.

For more information visit https://project529.com/garage/organizations/reddeer/landing, or contact the Central Alberta Crime Prevention Centre at 403-986-9904.

Red Deer RCMP

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