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July 4 to 10 was a particularly bad few days. A total of 15 bikes were reported stolen in Whistler during that time period. According to the Whistler RCMP, that number is higher than the average number of thefts in the resort during the summer months.
Amongst the 15 stolen bikes were two high-end downhill bikes that were locked to a bike rack at Spruce Grove. The thieves simply liberated the front wheels from the front shocks and left the two front wheels behind. Some of the other bikes stolen in the six-day period were left unlocked. Tools were used to break at least one lock and free one of the 15 bikes stolen in the six-day spree.
The RCMP is urging bike owners in Whistler to lock their bikes and police in the past have also urged bike owners to record their bike serial numbers. If a bike is recovered after being stolen it can easily be returned if the owner provides the matching serial numbers.
According to Lou and his team, a bike is stolen every 30 seconds in North America.
Lou's objective is to further explore the problem of bike theft, raise awareness and tip the scales of risk and reward in favour of bike owners.
"We have the support of the cycling community in Vancouver," says Lou.
The team that makes up To Catch A Bike Thief is currently raising money to finance the production of a series of 10 episodes. Lou says that doing a good job of producing a series of new shows requires more bait bikes, on-set food and coffee, camera and lens rentals, camera operators, sound recorders and insurance. According to Lou, it is very expensive to insure a video production that involves bike riders chasing thieves through the streets in the dark of night.
Meanwhile Whistler RCMP are also on the case. Bait bikes have been used here in the past, and may be used again in the resort this summer.
Police are also taking the step of warning people that bike thieves are always active in town, and to take every measure possible to secure their bikes.
One week, 90 per cent of bike thefts reported were for bikes that were left unlocked. Bike owners should always secure their bikes with good quality locks, even when kept inside their homes, and should take care to lock the frame — two high-end downhill bikes were taken this year by a thief who left the front wheels behind.
Bike owners should never leave their bikes unattended, and bring them inside whenever possible. Also, never assume a balcony is secure — bikes have gone missing from third floor balconies in the past. Bike thefts also regularly target vehicles, breaking windows to gain access or lifting bikes from the backs of trucks.