Winnipeg police say there are about 2,000 bikes are stolen in the city every year, and the busiest months are in the summer.
In 2018, July saw the highest number of bikes stolen at 359 and in August police received reports of 340 stolen bikes.
Public Information Officer Jay Murray says that’s probably not the full picture.
“We don’t think everyone’s reporting their bike thefts. We often come across posts online where people don’t think it’s worth reporting or they feel like it’s too much of a hassle, but these numbers are very crucial for us,” he said.
“They help us identify hot spots, where are these bikes being stolen from, at what times are they being stolen and help us better deploy our resources.”
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The police have a more recent initiative where they put a bike out as a bait and wait for someone to try and steal it. Murray says the program has been effective and is in use this summer.
He says people need to be vigilant to protect their bikes.
“A lot of people don’t think they’ll ever be the victim of a bike theft. We see a lot of people who leave their bikes outside of a convenience store and they don’t think they need to lock it. Or they’ll be locked for a longer time with a really inexpensive bike lock,” he said.
Woodcock Cycle Works owner Tim Woodcock says every week someone comes into the store looking for a new bike after theirs was stolen.
Woodcock recommends people buy D-shaped locks.
The city says up to 1,000 bikes are recovered each year but less than 10 per cent actually get returned to their rightful owners.
You can register your bike online for $6.70.
So far in 2019 there have been nearly 2,000 bikes registered for the year.
The city is looking at the option to register your bike when you buy it says Ross Eadie, city councillor for the Mynarski ward.
“It just makes sense to register it when you buy it,” he said, adding when the city looked at the issue some retailers weren’t on board.
Eadie says they’re also looking at what would happen if the registration fees were waived and if the registration app improved. Eadie says he’s expecting the report before the new year.