Bike thefts have become a plague in the Lower Mainland and Burnaby is no better off, according to the RCMP.
"With the cost of bicycles these days, they are becoming very lucrative targets," said Cpl. Dave Reid.
While bikes can still be found for $100, most good quality ones sell for upwards of $200 - even at stores like Canadian Tire. At niche bike shops, it's easy to find a highquality bike for more than $1,000.
Reid said the climbing price of bikes is the main motivator in the increasing number of bike thefts over the past few years. Bike thieves re-sell the stolen bikes on online forums such as Craigslist and Kijiji, instead of ditching them once they've stripped them for parts.
"So we had plenty of bikes that were being stolen, but then we had plenty of bikes that were being recovered as well. Fewer and fewer are being recovered because they're being sold 'as is' and the expensive ones are being stripped and rebuilt," he said.
Burnaby resident Amber Wheatley knows a little too much about bike thefts. A mother of three, all her children have had their bikes stolen in the past six months, most recently on Aug. 18.
But this time, it seems someone was looking out for the bike. One of Wheatley's neighbours managed to snap a photo of the thief stealing the bike.
"Her young son happened to be on his balcony, and he saw the girl, and she looked all suspicious," she said.
The boy took a photo and video of the girl riding off on the stolen bike.
Wheatley said she reported the theft to her local Block Watch captain but doesn't
expect much to come of it.
"It is our fault, like we didn't have it locked up, but it was in our garage," she said.
Locking up a bike is the best way to protect it from being stolen, added Reid.
"I put on my regular bicycle lock but then I got a rather large chain that wraps around one of my pillars inside the garage and wrap it around the bike too," Reid said. "I never leave them unlocked."
The only way to prevent your bike from being stolen is to lock it up with a heavyduty
lock, but don't be surprised if thieves are able to cut through the $30 lock, he said, as most thieves are prepared with tools to disable or destroy the locks.
"If you're going to spend a couple thousand dollars on a bicycle, spend a couple hundred dollars on your bike lock," he said.
Another important thing to keep in mind if you're in the market for a used bike, check the bike's serial number, just in case it was reported stolen, Reid added.
"If there are serial numbers on it, copy the serial numbers and have the police check them for you," he said.
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