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Bike Theft Archives

Bike Theft Task Force officers host ride-along on the Springwater Corridor

Posted on August 1st, 2016 at 2:02 pm.

Officers Dave Sanders (right) and Ben Labasan on the Springwater Path Saturday.(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

PPB Officers Dave Sanders (right) and Ben Labasan on the Springwater Path Saturday.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

Leaders of the Portland Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force did a ride-along on the Springwater Corridor path on Saturday.

The ride was a spontaneous event that founder of the Task Force, PPB Officer Dave Sanders, posted to Twitter just a few hours before he set out. He was joined by fellow Officer Ben Labasan and the two of them were joined by a handful of citizens who showed up to ride with them. It was all part of the Bike Theft Task Force’s ongoing effort to involve the community in the work they are doing to prevent bike theft and recover stolen bikes.

Why the Springwater? “I’ve been wanting to see the issues along the Springwater firsthand and have been wanting to address some of the ongoing tips and complaints that we have received regarding bike theft in this area,” Ofcr Sanders said via email this morning.

Here’s more from Sanders:

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Bike Theft Task Force spreads awareness at Sunday Parkways

Posted on July 26th, 2016 at 8:59 am.

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The booth at the entrance to Woodlawn Park was buzzing with activity all day.
(Photos by J. Maus/BikePortland)

If we’re going to take a bite out of bike theft in Portland we need the whole community to step up: Police, bike shops, city bureaus, and citizens like you and me.

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Bike Theft Task Force returns with popular u-lock exchange program

Posted on July 22nd, 2016 at 9:44 am.

After receiving a new u-lock, this woman learned how easy it is to cut her old one.(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

After receiving a new u-lock, this woman learned how easy it is to cut her old one.
(Photos: Portland Police Bureau)

Last month’s inaugural U-lock? U-Rock! exchange was so popular that the Portland Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force (BTTF) ran out of locks within the first hour.

“Before we even got set up, there was a line. We could not keep up with the demand,” Portland Police Bureau Officer Dave Sanders wrote in a debrief. “At one point, there was a line of cyclists a block long and so many people congregating around our tents, that it was interfering with other organizations.”

Officer Sanders and a crew of volunteers (more are needed!) and city partners will be prepared for the onslaught this Sunday when the program returns for Sunday Parkways Northeast.

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Police seek help finding bike burglar caught on video in Montavilla neighborhood

Posted on April 1st, 2016 at 9:43 am.

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Screenshot from home video shows man kicking down door.
Watch full video below.

On March 11th, Portlander Mitch Lomacz was the victim of a brazen theft. His home security cameras caught a man who walked into the backyard of his Montavilla home, forcibly kicked open the door of his garage and then grabbed a Scott CR1 road bike (retail value about $1,300).

Lomacz, who works at Cyclepath bike shop, now has the attention of Portland Police Bureau detectives who have put out an APB on the suspect. Apparently this isn’t the first time he’s burglarized a home in the neighborhood.

Please keep your eyes out for the bike and the suspect. Lomacz says the suspect is around 5′ 10 ” tall with a medium build and “sporty appearance”, slightly balding and light-colored hair, is a smoker and “definitely knows his way around a bike.” What makes Lomacz think the suspect is a bike guy? “He found a matching pair of pedals on my workbench full of crap/pedals and walked the bike away by the saddle suggesting he rides and handles bikes a lot.”

Watch the suspect at work in the video below:

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“I had given up hope”: Portland woman gets stolen bike back five years later

Posted on March 30th, 2016 at 3:44 pm.

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Jade Koide, Bike Gallery Service Manager Scott Scholl, and the custom Bob Jackson.
(Photo courtesy Jade Koide)

It’s been a while since we last shared a good stolen bike recovery story. So here goes…

Portlander Jade Koide emailed us last week with a pretty remarkable story that involved the theft of a bike that had a lot of sentimental value to her.

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Video shows thief stealing bike from Red Cross while owner is inside giving blood

Posted on March 17th, 2016 at 3:28 pm.

Consider this video your monthly reminder to stay vigilant when it comes to protecting your bike from thieves.

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Portland Bike Theft Task Force receives $4,000 donation from local bike club

Posted on February 22nd, 2016 at 10:32 am.

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Check presentation in lobby of Portland Police Bureau headquarters on Friday.
Left to right: Officer Dave Bryant, Portland Wheelmen President Ann Morrow, past PWTC President Kathleen Hellem, Police Chief Larry O’Dea, Officer Dave Sanders.

The City of Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force has received a financial boost from the largest bike club in town.

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Portland’s most wanted bike thief gets unprecedented prison sentence

Posted on December 22nd, 2015 at 11:47 am.

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Leroy Parsons on a video monitor
during a hearing last month.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A ruling yesterday by a Multnomah County judge marks a turning point in Portland’s ongoing battle against bike thieves.

Leroy Parsons, a prolific criminal and Portland’s most brazen bike thief, was sentenced to 30 months in prison. That’s the longest sentence ever handed down for bike theft according to Multnomah County Senior Deputy District Attorney Jim Hayden. Hayden and his team also convinced the judge to give Parsons a five-year probation period, much longer than sentencing guidelines dictate.

The sentence was the result of years of hard work by downtown bike patrol officers and it marks a significant change in how the DA’s office handles bike theft cases. It’s also a big win for Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force.

I spoke with DA Hayden on the phone this morning to understand more about why this case matters.

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Portland Police are hiring a college intern to help tackle bike theft

Posted on December 16th, 2015 at 11:10 am.

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Do you want to help police fight bike theft? If so, they’re hiring an intern.

As you know, we worked with the Portland Police Bureau to establish the Bike Theft Task Force last spring. The most important component of that effort was that it granted powers to two Central Precinct officers to spend official city time fighting this epidemic problem.

These officers are doing amazing work, but they only have a very limited time every week to devote to it. One of the biggest challenges we have is human capacity to throw at the problem. Now the PPB has taken a step to fix that by announcing the first-ever intern position devoted to bike theft.

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A tale of bike theft hysteria, first appearances, and trust

Posted on December 4th, 2015 at 11:48 am.

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A sight almost no one likes to see.
(Photos: Shonn Preston/Facebook)

This is a story about bike theft that’s not really about bike theft at all.

It started yesterday morning when I saw a tweet showing a photo of two suspicious men waltzing calmly down East Burnside with a bike and pair of bolt-cutters.

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