Portland Bike Theft Task Force

About that KGW-TV segment on Portland’s Bike Theft Task Force

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 14th, 2021 at 12:01 pm

Screen grab from interview with KGW host Dan Haggerty.

A segment that aired Tuesday night on KGW, Portland’s NBC affiliate station, got a few things wrong about bike theft in Portland. (Note: See update at end of story posted on 4/16.)

The Story with Dan Haggerty spent about six minutes on the topic, framed around the assertion that the Portland Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force (BTTF) has been “eliminated” due to recent police budget cutbacks.

Unfortunately, the central idea and framing of the segment is untrue. The BTTF is alive and was never shut down. Worse yet, host Dan Haggerty perpetuates harmful and unfair stereotypes about people who live on the street.[Read more…]

Bike Theft Task Force leader has left PPB; future of unit unclear

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 13th, 2021 at 1:08 pm

A busy Bike Theft Task Force booth at a 2019 Sunday Parkways event.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

[Read more…]

Police budget cuts cripple bike theft response unit

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on September 25th, 2020 at 12:11 pm

The Bike Theft Task Force booth at a Sunday Parkways event in July 2016.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

The leader of the Portland Police Police Bureau’s Bike Theft Task Force (BTTF) says the unit has lost its only source of funding and will have to significantly scale back its work for the foreseeable future.

Officers with the task force had been doing regular bike registration events in partnership with Portland Parks rangers over the past few months. Last week Officer Dave Sanders took to the BTTF Twitter account to make the news public: “We are sorry to have to cancel this and other planned events,” he wrote. “Funding for our bike theft program is currently being suspended. Though the police bureau sees the value of these community efforts, we are facing larger budget cuts within our bureau that prevent us from continuing.”[Read more…]

Downtown bike shops on hunt for dozens of bikes stolen during protests

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on June 4th, 2020 at 11:15 am

Window of Pedal Bike Tours on SW 2nd Avenue.
(Photo: Pedal Bike Tours/Instagram)

While Portland’s protests in the name of the murder of George Floyd and ongoing police brutality in America have gotten more peaceful in recent nights, several downtown bike shop owners are still recovering from thefts that happened last week.

We’re aware of over 30 bikes that have been stolen so far. Most of them were taken on Friday, May 29th when some people who were downtown during the protest smashed windows and took products from a number of stores. The hardest hit shops have been Bike Gallery on Southwest 10th and Salmon and Pedal Bike Tours on Southwest 2nd near Ankeny.[Read more…]

PPB Bike Theft Task Force recover 15 bikes, make two arrests in chop shop bust

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on May 15th, 2020 at 10:24 am

Tools of the trade. Notice the seat bags too.

A vanful of broken dreams. (Photos: PPB)

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Bike Theft Task Force launches registration drive with U-lock giveaway

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 20th, 2020 at 5:31 pm

(Photo: PPB)

Earlier this month we shared that the leader of the Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force said we could “end bike theft overnight” if everyone registered their bikes online.

Now Task Force leader Officer Dave Sanders is putting u-locks where his mouth is.

Thanks to an ongoing partnership with Abus Locks, the Portland Bureau of Transportation and registration site Project 529, the Task Force is adding a new twist to their “U Lock U Rock!” program. Once live events like Sunday Parkways start up again, they’ll be doing more cable-lock-for-u-lock exchanges. For now, all you need is a phone and an internet connection. [Read more…]

5 years after launch, PPB Bike Theft Task Force leader says problem remains ‘very bad’

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on April 9th, 2020 at 12:34 pm

Last month members of the Task Force joined with Milwaukie PD for a free bike registration event on the Springwater Corridor.
(Photos: Portland Police)

Bike thieves do not care about the pandemic. In fact, it’s probably encouraging them to steal more.

According to the Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force, bike theft in March was up 25% compared to last year. Task Force leader Officer Dave Sanders says it’s “very bad” out there right now.

The BTTF was launched five years ago this week. We haven’t reduced bike theft as much as we’d hoped, but the task force itself remains strong and is doing excellent work. While Portland is a leader in bike theft with about 10,000 bikes stolen each year (over one per hour), we are also a leader in recoveries. According to PPB data, they’ve recovered 30% more bikes so far this year than last. That’s $100,000 worth of stolen bikes back in the hands of their owners. The key? Registration.

“We could solve bike theft overnight if everyone would take a few minutes today to walk out to their garage and register their bikes,” Ofcr. Sanders shared with me this week.

Sanders is on the frontlines of the bike theft epidemic. As he scours the city looking for stolen bikes, he’s also been a victim himself. It happened back in January and it just happened again last week.[Read more…]

Portland Police online crime reporting system now includes bike theft

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on February 20th, 2020 at 3:24 pm

Screen grab from PPB Citizen Online Reporting site.

In a bid to make crime reporting more convenient and free up officers for other calls, the Portland Police Bureau announced this week they’ve expanded the types of crimes that can be reported online.

Along with identity theft, telephone scams, shoplifting, and other crimes, you can now use the PPB’s Citizen Online Reporting System to report a bicycle theft. The new system can be used if the value of your bicycle is below $10,000 and there are no known suspects.

Officer Dave Sanders, founder of the PPB Bike Theft Task Force, says it’s a welcome step forward. “Hopefully this will encourage more folks to report their stolen bikes,” he shared with me earlier this week. Ofcr. Sanders added that he references police reports daily in his ongoing battle against Portland’s rampant bike theft problem (they’ve already recovered over 50 bikes so far this year). “We just got a bike back for a guy this morning in spite of an absent serial number,” he shared. [Read more…]

Thief picks handcuffs, steals bike owned by Portland Police Bike Theft Task Force leader

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on January 17th, 2020 at 8:06 am

Officer Sanders’ bike. Keep your eyes peeled!

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Portland’s most prolific bike thief steals again, gets 25 months in prison

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) by on August 16th, 2018 at 8:36 pm

Bikes found at Parsons’ camp in inner northeast Portland late last month.
(Photos: Multnomah County DA/PPB)

“I think it’s a big win for the community.”
— Officer Dave Sanders, PPB Bike Theft Task Force

A man who has been booked into the Multnomah County Detention Center 80 times over a 20-year career and is considered the kingpin of bike theft in Portland is behind bars.

Again.

Leroy Parsons, who once boasted about his bike theft skills in a local television interview, has been given a 25-month prison sentence for violating the terms of his probation.

“I think it’s a big win for the community,” said Portland Police Bureau Bike Theft Task Force Officer Dave Sanders, in a statement published by the District Attorney’s Office today. “For the last 10 years, he’s been one of the pillars in downtown who networks stolen bikes.”
[Read more…]