Calgary cyclists know the reality all too well: bicycles are prime targets for thieves.
Calgary police say the problem gets worse as we move farther into summer, but the force is already reporting a quarter of all bicycle thefts this year — around 250 — happened in the month of June alone.
“Absolutely it’s a crime of opportunity,” Const. Roland Valois with the Calgary Police Service (CPS) mountain bike unit said.
“There are people out there targeting bikes and that’s what they do all day.”
The best way to keep your bike safe, according to Valois, is to make sure it’s locked up properly. That means securing both the wheels and the bike frame to whatever you’re locking it to, which can take more than one lock, depending on the make of your bike.
He also advises taking any easily removable items with you like bells, seats and lights. Those are easy to swipe and can make your bike a more appealing target.
Writing down your bicycle’s serial number is also recommended, along with any other custom add-on’s just in case your bike does get stolen. That will make it easier for police to track down.
“We know historically that July and August are our highest number of bike thefts,” Valois said.
“Just last year alone in July and August we had 865 bikes taken. That is from the downtown core alone.”
The small silver lining is that while bike theft season is heating up, so far the number of bikes stolen in Calgary is down 29 per cent over the same time period last year.