Bike Theft Archives

Portland Police make arrest via new bait bike program

Posted on July 26th, 2017 at 8:47 am.

A post on the PPB Bike Theft Task Force Twitter account yesterday.

A new program being run by the Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force is showing early returns.

Yesterday in Old Town a man was arrested after stealing a bicycle that was equipped with a tracking device. The bike is just one in a growing fleet of bait bikes being deployed by the Task Force. It’s all part of the PPB’s ongoing effort to discourage bike theft.

As GPS devices have improved and become more accessible in recent years, the technology is finally becoming more common with law enforcement agencies. As we reported in 2015, the Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office arrested thieves who nabbed a bait bike from Reed College. And just last week the Washington County Sheriff’s Office was featured in a KGW-TV news story about their bait bike program.

A Washington County Sheriff told KGW, “We hope the word gets out that if you try to steal a bike… we’re going to catch you. We want the public to know that, bicycle owners to know that, as well as potential bike thieves.” (Note: I’ve been in touch with Washington County Sheriff Pat Garrett to connect his officers with Portland officers for a bit of knowledge-sharing about their respective programs.)

Officer David Sanders leads the PPB Bike Theft Task Force unit. For him, using bait bikes is an important step to keep up with thieves — some of whom are now taking the unusual step of modifying serial numbers to avoid being tracked down.

I spoke with Sanders yesterday about the new bait bike program.[Read more…]

Portland born and raised, the OttoLock hits a bike security sweet spot

Posted on July 20th, 2017 at 5:13 pm.

Surprisingly convenient and useful.
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Q: What do you get when a cyclist, an engineer and a businessman walk into a bar?

A: A stolen bike.

At least that’s how the joke used to go before the OttoLock came along.

Designed and engineered in Wilsonville by Otto Designworks, the company got started in 2015 after a successful Kickstarter campaign for their first product: an app and tool that helped people adjust derailleurs. With the OttoLock, the company seems to have found its stride.

Word-of-mouth for the product ignited early on in large part because one of the idea generators and spokesmen is professional cyclist Jacob Rathe (whom you might recall from our story on him when he made the U.S. National Team in 2008). We first covered the OttoLock nearly a year ago when it was still in the prototype and design phase. Now that it’s starting to show up in bike shops around the country, it’s time for a closer look.

Here are my impressions after using it for several months…
[Read more…]

“I no longer feel alone”: Theft victim on bike tour showered with support

Posted on July 10th, 2017 at 4:13 pm.

Supporters toast Kim Minhyeong (smiling in center) at Apex on Thursday.
(Photos courtesy Bryan Hance)

What Portland bike thieves took away, our community is giving back.

As we shared last week, South Korean bike tourer Kim Minhyeong was pedaling through Portland on his dream trip when his bike was stolen from outside the Southeast Hawthorne Fred Meyer. It was fully loaded with all his gear, including his laptop, camera, and more. As word spread, Bryan Hance from Bike Index decided to help. Hance swung into action and held a fundraiser for Kim last Thursday.

According to Hance, about 40 people showed up to Apex Bar — many of them with gear and donations in-hand. They showed Minhyeong what Portland is really all about as they shared free food donated to the event by Grind Musubi. “Definitely made me proud to be a Portlander! It was overwhelming, I won’t lie.” Hance wrote on in an email to supporters.
[Read more…]

Event planned for South Korean bike tourer victimized by theft in Portland

Posted on July 5th, 2017 at 8:54 am.

Portlanders are rallying to the aid of a man whose bike — and all of his belongings — were stolen last week.

“My dream has gone.”
— Kim Minhyeong

Kim Minhyeong is from South Korea and was passing through Portland on a once-in-a-lifetime bike tour from Canada to Argentina. Just a few weeks into his trip he stopped into the Fred Meyer on Southeast Hawthorne for supplies. On Friday (6/30) he locked his fully-loaded touring bike to a rack and went inside for 10 minutes. When he came out, everything was gone. “Laptop, a tent, clothes, panniers, camping gears, and food. Someone cut my lock and stole my bicycle. I couldn’t believe, I thought that I mistaken for a different entrance. I got a shock, and I got into a panic,” Minhyeong wrote in a post on his Facebook page.
[Read more…]

Man’s bike stolen after being knocked unconscious while bicycling on Springwater Corridor

Posted on May 18th, 2017 at 4:12 pm.

Section of the Springwater where the incident occurred.

While riding on the Springwater Corridor path in the early morning of May 10th, someone knocked Portland resident Vincent Rodarte off his bike. The impact caused him to lose consciousness. When he woke up, his custom-built mountain bike was gone.

“The details on that still elude me,” Rodarte wrote on the Oregon Bicycle Racing Association email list where he first reported the incident.

It happened between 12:30 and 3:00 am at the intersection where the Springwater passes SE Tacoma and 32nd streets (map).

Rodarte is appealing to the community to look out for his bike in hopes that it can be recovered. He’s filed a police report and has been in contact with a with PPB Bike Theft Task Force member who has already begun searching the area. Rodarte got a tip that his bike was spotted under I-405 and NW 19th, but so far police haven’t been able to get it back.
[Read more…]

Sorry bike thieves, PBOT’s new — more secure — staple racks are finally hitting the streets

Posted on April 28th, 2017 at 11:34 am.

New PBOT bike rack-4.jpg

The first of a new generation — and hopefully a new era of bike theft prevention.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

The City of Portland just raised their game when it comes to providing people with a secure place to park a bicycle.
[Read more…]

Thieves steal bikes, new inventory from Kenton Cycle Repair

Posted on April 4th, 2017 at 9:07 am.

The shop is in the process of moving to a larger location.
(Photo: Kenton Cycle Repair)

Kenton Cycle Repair has had a very rough start to the week. Around 6:00 am Monday morning two men broke into the shop and stole nine bikes and a large amount of new inventory off the shelves.

The shop is located at 2020 N McClellan Street, just off Denver Avenue in downtown Kenton. According to @pdxalerts (not official) the suspects were driving a blue Chevrolet pickup.

The shop’s owner Rich Walker confirmed the details of eight of the stolen bikes with us yesterday. The total retail value of the bikes is around $4,750. Walker said the thieves also made out with “all our lights and locks and a large amount of repair parts.”

Walker said the thieves busted out the front door. When he arrived around 8:15 there was glass all over the floor. A witness from the Kenton Hotel Apartments across the street saw two men in a truck loaded with bikes and called 911; but they drove away before police arrived. The witness was able to share a description of the men and a partial license plate number.
[Read more…]

Bike shop offers $500 reward for return of rare, stolen e-trike

Posted on March 27th, 2017 at 10:30 am.

Owner of RecumbentPDX says the stolen trike is one of only 12 or so on the entire west coast.

An rare electric-assist recumbent trike was stolen in downtown Portland over the weekend. It belongs to someone who is physically disabled. Mel Birgé, owner of RecumbentPDX in southeast Portland, is offering $500 for its return.

Here’s more from Mel:

An HP Scorpion Plus Pedelec was stolen. It looks virtually-identical to the one in the attached picture (the stolen one is tan color and has a larger 26” wheel in the rear). The trike has a Go SwissDrive electric motor in the rear wheel.

The owner is disabled by a brain tumor and this is his primary recreation.
[Read more…]

Review: The Iota – a tiny bike tracker with huge potential

Posted on February 17th, 2017 at 7:54 am.

Size is just one reason this product has potential.
(Photos: Bryan Hance/The Bike Index)

BikePortland subscriber and resident bike theft expert Bryan Hance from The Bike Index checked out the Iota Tracker with an eye towards bike tracking, DIY hacking, and more.

We field a lot of questions about ‘bike trackers’ at the Bike Index – everybody wants a small, affordable GPS tracker for their bike. Sounds like a simple request; but many people are surprised to learn a product like this doesn’t exist yet.

There are a few basic reasons why trackers aren’t as great as you think:

Size/hideability — It is hard to disguise a tracker so thieves can’t instantly find it. And having something that uses several antennas (GPS and cellular) means they aren’t easily hidden – nor are they very small.

Reliance on cellular — Most trackers use the cellular network to report their location, which means most trackers are 50% cell phone parts – and means paying for cell data, supporting a SIM card, having a hefty battery, etc.
[Read more…]

Bike Index partners with the country’s largest pawn search system to find more stolen bikes

Posted on November 2nd, 2016 at 7:52 am.

bikeindexlead

This post is by Portlander Bryan Hance.

Bike Index is very excited to announce a new partner in our fight against bike theft: LeadsOnline.com!

LeadsOnline runs the nation’s largest online investigation system used by thousands of law enforcement officers to monitor pawn shop and secondhand retailer transactions. Pawn shops across the country report their transactions to LeadsOnline in order to comply with local laws – and police use the site’s tools to search for, identify, and recover stolen goods from their own local police reports.
[Read more…]