When Candace Banks discovered her bike had been stolen at the end of October, she was very upset.
“I was heartbroken,” she told Global News.
The Kelowna woman said her bicycle, a distinct red, adult tricycle, was her main source of transportation.
“I am stuck walking again,” she said.
Her bike was stolen from a bike rack outside of her apartment complex near the corner of Richter Street and K.L.O Road.
But this isn’t the first time she’s experienced bike theft.
“We’ve had three bikes stolen in the past four months or so, since July,” Banks said.
The two other bikes were her daughter’s, both of which were stolen from the same bike rack.
Fortunately, one her daughter’s bikes was recovered thanks to Facebook and someone who spotted the stolen bike downtown.
The thefts are part of a growing crime trend as the Central Okanagan experiences a spike in the number of bicycles being stolen this year.
According to Kelowna RCMP, 478 bikes were reported stolen to police in the first 10 months of 2017. That number has grown to 704 in the same time period in 2018.
With that kind of a significant jump, police are issuing tips to prevent more people from falling victim to bike theft.
RCMP also recommend that owners register their bikes, new and old, with Project 529, an online registry that Kelowna RCMP can access when stolen bikes are recovered.
Police said the free registration only takes five minutes and has a number of benefits, including:
As for Candace Banks, she’s still hoping to get her bike back.
“It’s pretty distinct,” she said. “It’s a three wheel tricycle for adults, it’s not hard to spot, they’re not really popular in Kelowna so I do hope to get it back.”
She issued the following message to the person or people responsible for taking her bike.
“If you have my bike, just return it, no questions asked. Put it back where you found it, I’m not going to say anything, I just want my bike back.” she said.