Bike theft victim voices concerns over recent crimes in Lethbridge

As the weather starts to heat up, so do the amount of bike thefts. Lethbridge Police are reminding cyclists to be diligent about locking up your wheels this summer. Chris Chacon reports.

As the weather starts to heat up, so is the frequency of bike thefts in Lethbridge.

The Lethbridge Police Service (LPS) is reminding cyclists to be diligent about locking up your wheels this summer.

Rozina Richard said she is frustrated after thieves stole not one, but two of her daughter’s bikes.

“We bought that bike for her because she started volunteering at the humane society, and that was her transportation to get there,” Richard said.

READ MORE: Lethbridge family posts reward for stolen items

“With the weather changing, obviously more people are riding their bicycles and we’re starting to see an increase in bicycles being stolen and located by individuals and turned into our department here in Lethbridge,” said said acting LPS sergeant Kevin Talbot. “That’s why you see all the bicycles behind me.”

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Within just the last week, nearly 50 new bikes were taken into police possession.

“These bicycles have been reported found and presumably stolen,” Talbot said. “We currently have a couple hundred in our facility and we expect that number to grow as the weather gets warmer and warmer.”

Richard’s daughter is now left without transportation and the family is also out nearly $500.

“We feel like we’re just supplying bikes for random people,” she said. “So you know, that’s extra money coming out of our pockets that we can’t really afford either, but it’s one of those things where you need to have your kid fitted with a bike so that they can get places too. So it’s kind of frustrating.”

And sometimes, when you think you’re protecting your bicycle, you’re actually not.

“Bicycle locks are very important,” Talbot said. “They are a deterrent. The easiest bicycle to steal is one that isn’t locked up, so we encourage everybody to lock their bicycles but understand that there are individuals that will cut the locks and take a bicycle.”

READ MORE: Calgary police warn of ‘people targeting bikes’ during summer months

Left with no motivation or desire to purchase another bike, Richard is calling for further action.

“We would hope that maybe there is some kind of program that could be installed, like where you can optionally register your bike — kind of like the licencing of your cat thing, maybe that will bring more awareness to what’s going on in our city.”

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Police say if your bike has been stolen, make sure you report it to them or visit a police station to see if it has been turned in.

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