Bike thefts in Regina and Saskatoon continue to be high. Hundreds are stolen every year and even though owners take prevention by using a lock, or in some cases even leaving it in a garage, it doesn’t appear to stop thieves.
Robin Sieben had her bikes in her garage when they were taken. She said that someone drove a car into the garage, damaging the door and a wall. That’s how thieves came in and took her and her daughter’s bike, among other things.
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“I was more upset about how someone could take advantage of (another) person,” Sueben said.
“I was angry that my daughter’s bike was taken. She had just got it in the summer.”
Sieben said a man came to her house the next day, with only her bike. When she asked him why he had it, Sieben said he told her that he saw a post on Facebook about it being stolen and wanted to bring it back. He wanted $60 for it. She didn’t pay and was able to grab the bike back from him.
In 2018, Regina saw 1,078 bicycles stolen, up from 842, in 2017. Saskatoon isn’t far behind, with 799 bikes stolen in 2018, which is down from 2017, at 911. Peak bike theft season is from March to July.
“Maybe there are more people who are using bikes instead of cars in the summer, you can’t necessarily say it’s an increase in bad behaviour, but maybe an increase in opportunity,” said Elizabeth Popowich, the Regina Police Service‘s public information and strategic communication manager.
“That’s not to say that it isn’t wrong and that it isn’t a crime for someone to take your stuff, but if you can prevent the crime it’s certainly a lot easier than it is to try to investigate, recover and hold someone responsible for it later.”
The University of Regina is using the #LockItOrLoseIt campaign to encourage cyclists to prevent theft. They had five bikes stolen on campus already this year. All of them locked.
“A lot of the thefts are cable locks that are easy to cut, a lot of the stronger locks like U-shaped locks are much more difficult to get past,” University of Regina security director Pat Patton said.
“The tried and true lock design is the U-lock. It’s hardened steal, it’s hard to cut through, I’m sure thieves can get through it, if they had time, but it’s definitely the best deterrent,” Bike Regina’s Brandon Wright said.
Wright said he had two bikes taken in the past two years. The most recent case was at Regina Folk Festival, where he said he locked his bike up with a U-lock.
“(It) had a U-lock, but it was locked to a movable bike rack, and I thought it was in a safe enough area to let it go, but those particular thieves were able to take apart the rack and take the bikes that were on that rack,” Wright said.
“To get a bike stolen, it sucks, it’s a big stab right to the gut,” Wright said.
It’s not going to stop Wright from riding his bike everywhere, he hopes that other cyclists who have had their bike stolen won’t be discouraged to get a new one. Wright said he will continue to invest in bikes and also good locks.
“Bikes are available if you want to use them and ride them, if you want to steal them to resell them, there are better ways to make money,” Wright said.
“Please don’t steal bikes.”
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