May 10, 2016 - 8:30 PM
KELOWNA - If last year’s trend proves true for 2016, Kelowna is about to see a huge jump in bike thefts over the next month and a half.
The year already started off poorly for cyclists, with police saying bike theft was up 88 per cent from January through mid-March. That’s 88 per cent more than 2014, a year local RCMP said was already unusually high.
By this time last year, Kelowna RCMP had received 106 reports of stolen bicycles in the city. By the end of June that number more than doubled to 238.
If that momentum carries to 2016, the 126 bikes already stolen could mean more than 160 more bikes could go missing in Kelowna over the next six weeks.
That’s nearly four bikes every day.
Cpl. Jesse O’Donaghey is slow to place blame on a theft ring or particular group of individuals though.
“I wouldn’t say that there is enough information to support any kind of organized groups for the thefts. It is more likely that they are crimes of opportunity,” he says. “The bikes are likely used in the commission of further crimes then abandoned.”
O’Donaghey says cyclists need to be extra careful during peak season.
“What’s important is that bike owners always lock their bikes and not leave them unattended for any length of time,” he says. “It’s also important that owners take pictures of their bikes (and) record a detailed description of their bikes including all serial numbers.”
He also asks the public report all thefts as well as suspicious activities they see as quickly as possible.
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