July 27, 2016 - 4:30 PM
KAMLOOPS - Jacob Stewart was working the late shift at his new job when he walked outside to see his bicycle was stolen.
His 2013 Specialized Status 1 bike, which ran $3,000 new, was chained up outside of the North Shore McDonald's on July 20, but when he went outside he found that someone cut the lock and took it.
His mother Rebecca Stewart says they reported it missing to Kamloops RCMP that night.
“It’s disheartening... especially since he’s a 16-year-old boy," Stewart said.
Jacob's bike was his only way of getting home from work when he was working the late shift so for now, he's down to a longboard.
He knows he's not alone. Stewart also says one of Jacob's friends had his bike stolen from the same location just two days later. They are among the 212 bikes reported stolen to Kamloops RCMP so far this year including four bikes worth more than $5,000.
That's a big increase from this time last year, when there were 121 stolen bikes.
Kamloops RCMP says it is taking property crime seriously and making it a top priority. The detachment recently introduced a new bait bike system to try and catch thieves in the act.
Just two weeks ago, RCMP recovered nearly a dozen stolen bikes from a North Shore backyard. At least one bike had been reported stolen less than a month earlier.
RCMP have tips for bike owners who are looking to better protect their property:
Choose the right lock
Always lock your bike to a solid object that it cannot be lifted over
Lock your bike in a well-lit area with high foot traffic
Make sure what you lock to cannot be cut
Lock according to value – frame first, then back wheel, and finally front wheel
Get the tightest fit possible
Record the bike serial number so if the police find it, they can return it
Register your bike on Garage 529 app
The Garage 529 app is a new program introduced by RCMP aimed at reducing the amount of bike theft in the city.
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