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Bikes and golf clubs disappearing at alarming rate in Penticton

Penticton RCMP Cpl. Don Wrigglesworth surveys some of the bikes recently recovered by the detachment in this July 12, 2016 photo. A spike in bike and golf club thefts this summer has police asking people to mark their property for identification purposes.
July 28, 2016 - 12:30 PM

PENTICTON - Make your summer sports equipment identifiable, or be prepared to lose it, according to Penticton RCMP.

Police report bicycle thefts in the city continue at a high rate, with two more bicycles reported stolen last week.

Community policing coordinator Rick Dellebuur says people are continuing to lose expensive, high end bikes because there is no identification on them.

“Marking with your B.C. driver’s license number is the best way to identify bikes and scooters,” Dellebuur says. “Take a photo, record the serial number and put some identifying engraving on it - log it, lock it or lose it should be a mantra for bicycle owners."

Delllebuur says police are aware of operations in Penticton that act like bike ‘chop shops’ where bikes are painted, serial numbers removed and the appearance changed.

“We get information about these chop shops, but without some identification to apply to what might be in there, we don’t have the means to go and search the premises. We often come across someone we are familiar with who we know shouldn’t be riding a $3,000 bike, but if we can’t prove it’s been stolen, there is nothing we can do,” he says.

Of further alarm to police is a significant jump in golf club theft in the city.

Dellebuur says a half dozen golf clubs have been reported stolen since the beginning of this week.

“Golf clubs are disappearing from the boxes of pickup trucks, and the back seats and trunks of cars,” Dellebuur says, adding many of the thefts are from tourists who arrive in the city, decide to go down the channel or some other activity and leave their gear in the vehicle.

He notes most modern vehicles have access to the trunk through an electric release easily accessed from the passenger compartment.

“Be sure to lock your property, and have some identifiable markings and serial numbers for us,” he says, adding expensive golf clubs should also be marked for identification.

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