Of the 307 incidents of stolen bicycles in Victoria this year, many won’t have happy endings, but one Victoria youth received a surprise after his bike was stolen from where it was locked up on Oswego street.
Owen had only had the bike for two months, and according to a Victoria Police Department media release, the day it was stolen he had ridden it to school and locked it properly, only to find it missing when he left school for the day.
Fortunately, his family provided an “excellent description” for VicPD patrol officers, and only four days later – on June 24, Const. Rob Domville spotted a man riding a bike similar to Owen’s stolen one.
Domville stopped the cyclist – after he committed two infractions under the Motor Vehicle Act – and noticed that the bike had been recently modified in an attempt at disguising it. The man wasn’t charged, but the bike was seized.
Even though police had Owen’s bike, it was un-rideable. Attempts to disguise the bike from its rightful owner rendered it unsafe. That’s when police really went the extra mile.
VicPD patrol officers began raising money to get Owen a new bike. When Oak Bay Bicycles found out about their efforts, the local business worked with a bicycle manufacturer to find a replacement bike at a reduced price.
VicPD surprised Owen with his brand new bike on June 29.
The department noted bike theft continues to be a significant issue in Victoria, with 302 reports of thefts of bikes under $5,000 just this year. Officers have recovered 66 stolen bikes and seized another 92 – all suspected to have been stolen in other jurisdictions.
Police recommend registering your bicycle online to improve chances of its recovery if stolen.