Winnipeg police say they have seen a steady increase in the number of bike theft incidents over the last several years. Between 2012 and 2017, the number of incidents went up more than 82 percent, from 717 to 1,304, according to police. They note an "incident" may involve more than one stolen bike.
Here is one of the recent local incidents. When three young kids stopped by EB Games at SmartCentre Winnipeg on Kenaston Boulevard to pick up some video games, they figured it would be safe to lean it on the glass storefront for a few minutes. There were a couple of other customers inside and few cars in the parking lot.
But 5-10 minutes later they came out of the store to find one of the most expensive bicycles was stolen.
They noticed a man, walking towards the store, so one of the kids asked if he saw anything or anyone taking a bike. According to kids, a man turned around and without saying a word, rushed to his black pickup and drove away. Unfortunately, they were unable to do anything to stop him.
A police report was filed, bike's serial number and description provided to law enforcement officers. As of now, the case is still in progress of an investigation, no updates so far.
Police say many stolen bikes end up for sale online, some with slight modifications meant to disguise the bike from its original owner, and some get broken down and sold for parts.
"Social media and the internet is a quick and easy avenue for the bike thieves to sell the stolen bikes," said Winnipeg Police Service Patrol Sgt.Todd Martens.
So how can you keep your property safe if talking about bikes? Do your research, ask questions before buying a bike, so you don't get a stolen one — and remember two locks are better than one!
Also, the City of Winnipeg launched the online bike registry, which police say will make it easier to match recovered bikes with their rightful owners, in late April. Simply follow the link https://events.eply.com/WinnipegBikeRegistry/
So do your homework, get all the safety equipment (cables, locks, etc), stay safe and enjoy your bike ride!