Police get set to roll out bait bike program

Department putting the final touches on the program

In an effort to crack down on the increasing number of bike thefts in the city, the Victoria Police Department will be rolling out a bait bike program within the next month.

Acting police chief Del Manak told city councillors last week the department is putting the final touches on the program following the success of a pilot program that wasn’t publicized.

“It works with bait cars and we see no issue with it working with bait bikes. It’s one tool in the tool box,” said Manak, noting there are a lot of prolific offenders who’s job is to go out and look for bikes to seize, then take them to a chop shop.

“Someone is making money so a lot of the time we are actively looking in our community where these bikes are going and where we’re able to advance our efforts.”

After noticing a growing trend in bike thefts during the last few years, Victoria police implemented a bike registry in July 2015 to help reunite found or seized bikes with their rightful owners.

Cyclists fill out a form with their contact information, bike serial number and description, making it easier for officers to establish that it’s stolen when checking a person riding it without permission. Last year, 733 bikes were stolen. Of those, 255 were returned to their owners.

At the beginning of July, around 358 bikes had been reported stolen, prompting police to launch a public education campaign.

Typically the bikes are swiped from a porch or back yard, but some thieves cut the locks of bikes parked downtown. The hot spots for thefts include the area around Value Village, Yates and Broad streets.

Sometimes the bikes are dismantled and modified in an effort to throw off police. Many of them were recovered from the former tent city on the lawns of the Victoria courthouse, and have also been found at the city’s homeless shelters.

In the bait bike programs rolled out in other communities across Canada, including Vancouver, police outfit some bikes with location trackers, then place them in public areas as “bait” for would-be thieves. In other cases, it’s just a matter of putting a bike out and having an officer watch it.

In Victoria, police have identified a group of about 10 people in the city as prolific bike thieves. The courts have also helped police get a handle on the thefts, releasing prolific offenders on conditions to not have a bike or bike parts period.

“Our response to bike thefts, we see it as a critical. A lot of times for many people that’s the only mode of transportation that they have,” said Manak, adding prolific thieves were also targeting electric scooters.

“Once we identified that they were the ones stealing them (electric scooters), we were able to identify where they were stealing them from and also where they were being dumped…We were able to significantly reduce the amount of thefts of scooters.”

editor@vicnews.com

 

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The Greater Victoria Women’s Transition House Society provides an essential service and has only seen an uptick in need since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. (Pixabay)
Greater Victoria women’s shelter adds second safe harbour

Costs soar as need does for Greater Victoria Women’s Transition House Society

The family of Iris McNeil, shown here with members of her family, has launched a petition to deny parole for the man who murdered McNeil in 1997. (Family photo)
Family fights killer’s release from Metchosin institution

Shortreed serving an indeterminate sentence at William Head Institution

Rendering of the floating market space that is part of one of the two proposals for the Turkey Head and Oak Bay Marina properties. (Courtesy District of Oak Bay)
Oak Bay Marina questionnaire nets hundreds of responses

Mayor Kevin Murdoch impressed by the quality, quantity of input on two proposals

Police are looking for the driver of this truck after it nearly hit a group of kids in Esquimalt on Thursday. (Photo courtesy of Victoria Police)
Victoria police looking for driver of truck that nearly missed kids before crashing in Esquimalt

The truck’s driver, a man, fled the scene after the truck crashed into a house’s fence

Rainbow trouts thrashing with life as they’re about to be transferred to the largest lake of their lives, even though it’s pretty small. These rainbows have a blue tinge because they matched the blue of their hatchery pen, but soon they’ll take on the green-browns of their new home at Lookout Lake. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
VIDEO: Lookout Lake stocked with hatchery trout to delight of a seniors fishing club

The Cherish Trout Scouts made plans to come back fishing soon

A woman wears a protective face covering to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 as she walks past the emergency entrance of Vancouver General Hospital in Vancouver, B.C., Friday, April 9, 2021. COVID-19 cases have been on a steady increase in the province of British Columbia over the past week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Top doctor warns B.C.’s daily cases could reach 3,000 as COVID hospitalizations surge

There are more than 400 people in hospital, with 125 of them in ICU

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: Do you have a plan in place in the event of a tsunami?

Tsunamis have claimed the lives of more than 250,000 people between 1998… Continue reading

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of April 13

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

The District of Sooke will continue to flower with Communities in Bloom. (Pixabay)
Sooke will bud but not bloom in provincial competition

Council scales back participation in Communities in Bloom

An armed officer walks outside Cerwydden Care on Cowichan Lake Road near Skinner Road Wednesday, April 14 around 5:30 p.m. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Police standoff at Duncan apartment ends peacefully

Officers surround building as homeowner held in apartment for nearly four hours by adult son

Latest modelling by public health shows cases generated by COVID-19 infections into places where it can spread quickly. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
Industrial sites, pubs, restaurants driving COVID-19 spread in B.C.

Infection risk higher in offices, retail, warehouses, farms

Hwy. 4 was shut down in both directions for 10 hours on March 23 as a rock bluff was blasted as part of Kennedy Hill’s ongoing construction. Commuters can expect five more 10 hour closures on five consecutive Wednesdays beginning April 28. (Photo courtesy of Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)
Five 10-hour Pacific Rim highway closures planned in the next 6 weeks

Closures needed for rock blasting as part of the Kennedy Hill Safety Improvement project.

Bulldogs forward Stephen Castagna flips the puck into the Clippers zone during a game on Oct. 24. (ELENA RARDON / ALBERNI VALLEY NEWS)
Island BCHL game postponed due to ‘potential positive’ COVID-19 test

Nanaimo Clippers team suspends activities, players isolating pending further test results

Most Read