‘You will be charged’: New Westminster police set new trap for bike burglars

Click to play video: 'New Westminster police deploying ‘bait bikes’ to catch thieves'
New Westminster police deploying ‘bait bikes’ to catch thieves
New Westminster police launched a new 'bait bike' program to catch thieves in the city on Thurs. Sept. 7, 2023. According to Sgt. Andrew Leaver, each bike can be tracked and those caught with them will be prosecuted. – Sep 7, 2023

The New Westminster Police Department launched a new “bait bike” program this week, in an effort to deter bike theft and catch local bike burglars.

Each individual bike can be tracked, according to Sgt. Andrew Leaver, who delivered this message to would-be thieves at a press conference on Thursday: “If you’re caught with one, you will be arrested and you will be charged.”

About 100 bikes have been stolen in New Westminster each year for the past two years, he added.

He wouldn’t reveal how many bait bikes were deployed or how they could be tracked for the “integrity of the program,” but said officers will be alerted “the minute” one goes missing.

Click to play video: 'New West police launch ‘bait package’ program to nab Christmas Grinches'
New West police launch ‘bait package’ program to nab Christmas Grinches

“We know (bike theft) is underreported and we’re hoping to gather as much information about bike theft to be able to target and place our bait bikes throughout the city in the areas they’re most needed,” he said.

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“Our message to bike owners is that we care about these bikes. We know how important they are to you and we could also use your help in helping to combat bike theft.”

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The force is asking New Westminster bike owners to park their bikes in well-lit areas with heavy-duty locks, in areas designated for bike parking with CCTV coverage. Owners are also asked to report thefts to the department.

Leaver also encouraged to register their bikes with Project 529, a national database of photos and information and individualized stickers for each bike — information police can access in the event of a theft.

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