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…]
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.
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. [Read more…]
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.
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.”
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. [Read more…]
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.
OHSU covers the costs and reaps many benefits from the South Waterfront’s free-to-use bike valet. If we’re willing to listen, its success could be a lesson. (Photo: Go By Bike)
Part of our series of guest posts, America’s Next Bicycle Capital, where we share community voices about the future of biking in Portland. This week’s guest writer is Kiel Johnson, owner of the Go By Bike shop and operator of the Go By Bike valet.
Repeat after me: it is not your fault your bike got stolen. Even if you were a dummy and left your custom bike unlocked only to return several hours later and find it stolen, it is not your fault.
The solution to ending bike theft is easy. It starts with this fact: we are already dealing as individuals with the costs of theft.