Portland Bike Theft Task Force

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…]

Bike Theft Task Force helps nab ‘prolific’ garage burglar

by on September 26th, 2016 at 11:30 am

Joshua Dutcherson.
(Photo: PPB)

The Portland Police Bureau has nabbed another big-time thief who has a taste for high-end bicycles.

The PPB worked with officers from the Bike Theft Task Force and task force partner BikeIndex.org to arrest Joshua Dutcherson last Thursday. The 32-year-old suspect is being held in connection with three burglaries of apartment complex garages where he’s accused of lifting “numerous bicycles.”

Here’s how it went down, via the official police statement about the case:

The Bike Index website (https://bikeindex.org/) was instrumental in identifying some of the stolen bikes. An off-duty detective saw a suspicious van with three high end racing bikes the week prior and took note of the plate and the driver. While officers were investigating some new bike thefts the detective recognized the suspect and the vehicle as the same one he had seen a week prior…[Read more…]

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

by on August 1st, 2016 at 2:02 pm

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:[Read more…]

Bike Theft Task Force spreads awareness at Sunday Parkways

by on July 26th, 2016 at 8:59 am

PPB Bike Theft Task Force at Sunday Parkways-8.jpg

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.
[Read more…]

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

by 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)

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.[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

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…]

City of Portland’s new bike rack design aims to thwart thieves

by on February 26th, 2016 at 12:26 pm

The new design includes a half-inch diameter wire rope and a crossbar.

Bike parking coverage on BikePortland is sponsored by Huntco.
[Read more…]

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

by on February 22nd, 2016 at 10:32 am

Bike Theft Task Force donation-1.jpg

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.
[Read more…]

Portland’s most wanted bike thief gets unprecedented prison sentence

by on December 22nd, 2015 at 11:47 am

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.
[Read more…]

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

by on December 16th, 2015 at 11:10 am

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…]