Bike Theft

Portland Police make arrest via new bait bike program

by 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…]

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

by 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

by 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

by 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…]

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

by 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

by 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…]

Portland police will exchange a U-lock for your cable lock on Sunday

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on June 23rd, 2016 at 10:41 am

hales lock

Mayor Charlie Hales on his way to work last fall.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

As bike theft has become the only major category of crime in Portland that’s on a long-term rise, cable locks have been going the way of the station wagon and the wristwatch.

The Portland State University Bike Hub doesn’t even sell them. When Mayor Charlie Hales briefly started biking to work last fall, Willamette Week wrote an entire online article about the fact that he used a cable lock. (His wife Nancy, a regular bike commuter, told us at the time that it was because they’d misplaced their U-lock keys that day.)

Apparently the Bike Theft Task Force at the Portland Police Bureau agrees. In a tweet on Wednesday, the team said they’ll be offering a lock exchange program at North Portland Sunday Parkways this weekend: you give them a cable lock, they give you a U-lock.

[Read more…]

Will the next Craigslist actually fight bike theft?

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 17th, 2015 at 11:10 am

offerup

OfferUp has $90 million in venture funding and is growing fast as an alternative to Craigslist in part by branding itself as friendlier and less anonymous.

A new crop of well-funded Craigslist competitors has some anti-bike-theft organizers smelling an opportunity.

Craigslist, the San Francisco-based classifieds website founded in 1995, is a common venue for reselling stolen bikes, in part because it does almost nothing to regulate the goods people buy and sell.

“Craigslist is a freaking wall a mile high,” said Bryan Hance, the Portland-based operator of the anti-theft service BikeIndex.org. “They just don’t do anything with anybody. They just don’t care.”

[Read more…]

Bait bike programs trace thefts but can struggle to convict, KATU reports

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 4th, 2015 at 8:35 am

With Reed College’s bait bike program dealing with enforcement challenges, local ABC affiliate KATU-TV is shedding more light on the thorny issue of theft deterrence.

In the most recent case, KATU reported yesterday, one of the bikes that the college has equipped with a GPS unit was tracked to a “chop shop hidden behind [a] bookcase.” But nobody was arrested, because there was no easy way to prove that any specific person in the house had done the deed.

[Read more…]

With new authority, TriMet moves to clear unused bikes from its racks

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 2nd, 2015 at 5:17 pm

bike rack

Should keep things a bit clearer.
(Photo: TriMet)

The Portland area’s public transit agency has given itself the power to seize and discard bicycles abandoned at its stations for more than a few days.

As part of a general code overhaul approved last February and effective Wednesday with the start of TriMet’s fiscal year, the TriMet board of directors approved a new code provision allowing for “a bicycle left on any property of the District Transit System for more than 72 hours may be impounded.”

[Read more…]