The Whistler RCMP is making the recent spree of thefts, and in particular bike thefts, a priority after a pronounced increase in reports over the past few weeks.
From midnight on July 4 to the afternoon of July 12, some 18 bikes were reported stolen. Four were recovered that were related to the arrests of three individuals in the early morning of July 5 - one was found in a vehicle and the other three in the bushes along the Valley Trail between Village Gate and Lorimer on July 5 and July 6. Another bike of little value - which was not reported stolen - was found in a bush by RCMP patrols.
As of June 28, 32 bikes had been stolen in the resort since January, and the following week another 11 bikes were added to the tally. With the 18 bikes stolen in the last week the total is over 60 for the season.
In the past week, the RCMP also responded to complaints of a stolen truck, motorcycle and ATV in separate incidents.
"We're committed to seeking this person, and are investigating (the thefts) rigorously," said Staff Sergeant Steve LeClair on Tuesday. "This has become a priority for us."
Most of the stolen bikes were locked up and many were protected by storage room doors and in secure underground parking areas. The thief or thieves use simple tools like pry bars and cable cutters to gain entry, and then bolt cutters and screwdrivers to defeat bike locks - often taking the locks with them to cover their tracks.
Most of the thefts occurred overnight, but there were some daylight thefts as well.
The bikes stolen include a Specialized Pitch, a Trek Sessions, a 2008 Kona Stinky, a 2005 Rocky Mountain Slayer, a 2010 Norco A-Line, a Giant XL, a Specialized Enduro, an unnamed 2005 or 2006 Kona, a Norco Wolverine, an Intense 951, a 2008 Demo 71, a Faction Zeitgeist BMX, a Shimano Grimper and a Norco Six.
Four bikes that were stolen in the early hours of July 5 - and recovered on July 5 and July 6 - were reported stolen by their owners and returned to them on July 8. The bikes include a Devinci Frantic, a Norco Shore, a Trek Sessions and a Rocky Mountain Flatline.
On July 10, the RCMP received a report of a stolen 2004 Ford F150, blue in color, from Lot 5. It was last seen at 10:30 p.m. on July 9 and reported missing the next morning. The plate is 4681KH.
The RCMP received a report of a stolen motorcycle from the 1200 block of Mt. Fee in Cheakamus Crossing on July 11. It was locked, but it appears that the thief or thieves dragged it from the house and may have caused some damage in the process.
A Giovanni ATV was taken from another residence in the neighbourhood on the same night after it was left outside for repairs. The Norco Six bike already mentioned was taken from the same neighbourhood on the same night, as well as two kids' bikes not reported yet to the RCMP.
Crankworx will bring thousands of people and bikes to Whistler over the next few weeks, as well as some additional bike thieves. Be on the lookout for suspicious activity and call the police if you think a bike is being stolen.
As well, you should take steps to secure your bike.
Make sure you have a copy of the registration numbers, which can be found on the frame, and a description of the bike including colours and components in case the bike is ever recovered.
The thieves have targetted private residences, vehicle bike racks, village bike racks, vehicles in underground garages, and bike and equipment storage lockers at residences and hotels.
Ask your strata if you can keep your bike in your unit temporarily until the security of the storage area can be increased. Always lock your bike, even at home, and use two good quality locks with different types of locking mechanisms if possible to slow down thieves.
Sometimes it helps to personalize your bike with stickers and components, making it easier to identify. Many stolen bikes are resold online through classified websites and mountain bike sites.