Bicycle thefts on the rise in Charlottetown, police say

·2 min read
'If it's a valuable bike, it's probably targeted, but if it's another brand of bike, it's just a crime of opportunity for someone to take it and use it for transportation,' says RCMP Sgt. Craig Eveleigh. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)
'If it's a valuable bike, it's probably targeted, but if it's another brand of bike, it's just a crime of opportunity for someone to take it and use it for transportation,' says RCMP Sgt. Craig Eveleigh. (Laura Meader/CBC - image credit)

Charlottetown police are encouraging people to keep bicycles locked up after a "significant increase" in thefts.

There have been 36 reported bicycle thefts within the last month. Last year, there were only 10 over the same period, though there were more before the COVID-19 pandemic.

"It's not alarming in the fact that there's a significant increase," said Chief Brad MacConnell. "However, all of these are very disappointing to us. We certainly want to live in a community where people can leave their property without fear of things being stolen. And we do our best to try to prevent that and hold those accountable."

Laura Meader/CBC
Laura Meader/CBC

Blair Burns's bike was stolen a few weeks ago when he picked up some groceries and left it outside unlocked. He said it was worth more than $1,000, and his main mode of transportation.

"I was pretty angry," he said.

"I'm getting sick of people stealing bikes and stealing other people's bikes and stealing kids' bikes. I think it's getting out of hand."

'Could be painted now'

Burns doesn't expect to see his bike again, at least not in one piece.

"Handlebars are probably on another bike ... the frame could be in a ditch somewhere, could be painted now."

In some solved cases the same person has been found responsible, and in some cases thefts are related to addictions.

"We realize that the offenders that are associated to these types of crimes are also addicted to drugs and have vulnerabilities in that way," said MacConnell.

RCMP Sgt. Craig Eveleigh said the safest route is to remove the temptation.

"If it's a valuable bike, it's probably targeted, but if it's another brand of bike, it's just a crime of opportunity for someone to take it and use it for transportation."

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