June 12, 2018 6:32 pm

Regina bike thefts hit six-year high

Bike thefts are on the rise in Regina.

Sean Stetner / Global News

It’s been ten days since Sascha Charrier’s vintage John Deere cruiser bike was stolen from her gated apartment complex.

“I usually lock them together at night, and when I got home that night, there was only one bike there,” Charrier said. “The next day I was told the lock had been broken into at the back.”

It’s one of 248 bikes reported stolen in the city so far this year- 77 more than the same time frame last year, and a six year high.

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READ MORE: Bike theft in Vancouver drops 30% thanks to new app. Will other Canadian cities catch on?

Regina Police Service says the spike may be related to a rise in garage break-ins. As a result, they’re urging people to take every precaution.

“It’s always a good idea to have a lock that can’t be cut, or some other means of protecting that bike,” RPS spokesperson Elizabeth Popowich said. “If a bike is stored in a garage, then the garage should be locked, and ideally the bike should be locked as well.”

“It’s really important to try to remove the opportunity for the crime to occur.”

READ MORE: Garage break and enters on the rise in Regina

In the meantime, Charrier’s apartment is planning on installing surveillance cameras, but the bike hasn’t popped up for sale online, or in local pawn shops.

In fact, many pawn shops are simply turning bikes away. One manager Global News spoke to says he put started enforcing a no-bike policy last year after police found several of their bikes were stolen.

Others shops say bicycles just aren’t worth the space and hassle.

“There’s a lot of mechanical things going on with bikes, and they also take up a fair bit of space,” Pawn broker Todd Lueck explained. “The season you can sell them is relatively small here on the prairies.”

Police say it’s important to record your bike’s serial number as proof of ownership in case its stolen- if it’s found, a picture isn’t enough to claim it.

“You don’t necessarily have to register it with police, but if you have the serial number recorded and the bike is stolen and we recover it somewhere else, that’s one way of identifying it,” Popowich added.

READ MORE: Tips to secure your bike amid a spike in Regina thefts

In Saskatoon, 214 bikes were reported stolen from January to the end of May- slightly down from 224 in the same time frame last year.

Saskatoon Police runs a serial number registry for bike owners in hopes of speeding up the recovery process in the event of a theft.

To date, 2,168 bicycles have been registered.

RPS keeps recovered bikes for several months in a city compound in hopes rightful owners will be identified.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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