Bike Theft

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.

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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.

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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.”

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Bike Theft Task Force, Project 529 team up on census effort with new app

by on May 18th, 2015 at 2:46 pm

censuslead

Love bikes? Hate theft? Seeking volunteers to build
a baseline of Portland bike parking
(Graphic by J Allard)

J Allard is CEO and Founder of Project 529 and a Core Team member of the Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force.

I’ve learned a lot about bike theft after being victimized 3 years ago, and even more as we’ve developed and rolled out the 529 Garage. A common pattern as I speak to people is the desire for a silver bullet solution. Sorry fellow cyclists, there isn’t one.

Fact is, today’s bike thieves and fences are more organized, more dedicated and leveraging technology better than the communities they are attacking. To fight back, we’re going to have to step up our game, and I’m happy that here in Portland we’ve begun to with the formation of the Bike Theft Task Force.

One of my biggest learnings is how little data and research exists. I can’t think of any $400 million problem (annual, in the US alone) that has received as little focused attention as bike theft. Sure, there’s a couple of general reports, but no deep studies on the problem that can offer much insight to the problem as we search for answers.
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In Portland, crime has plummeted in every major category except one

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on April 30th, 2015 at 9:15 am

bike theft trend

Chart: BikePortland. Data: Portland Police Bureau via PSU Criminal Justice Policy Research Institute.

Like most cities in the developed world, Portland is a dramatically more secure place than it was in 1995.

Reported residential burglaries per resident are down 63 percent. Auto theft is down 69 pecent. Gun crime is down 86 percent.

But 20 years of Portland crime statistics collected Wednesday on Portland State University’s website showed that there’s a single glaring exception: bike theft. It’s up 50 percent since 1995.

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Video from Philly shows thief removing sign pole to steal a bike

by on January 30th, 2015 at 11:13 am

pole

Out comes the pole, off goes the bike.
(Photo from WPVI-TV)

Bike theft is a national problem. I know we’ve focused on it quite a bit here in Portland, but I think it’s important to know that every major city is struggling with the issue.

As part of my daily grind I skim news headlines for bicycle-related items. One story that I think is worth sharing comes from WPVI-TV (ABC) in Philadelphia. I was struck by how it described such a similar situation to what we’re experiencing here in Portland.

What really amazed me was the video the news station shared. In it, a thief wearing a hoodie and gloves unscrews a sign pole, lifts it out of the ground, throws it on the sidewalk and cooly pedals away. All in just 30 seconds.

Check it out below…
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