The Whistler RCMP's 2018 bait-bike program was launched July 16, and caught its first suspect before the local detachment could even get the word out.
"The original plan was to advise media and the public today, July 17, about the start of the program and to warn those that may consider stealing a bike to be warned that 'bait bikes are everywhere,'" said Staff Sgt. Paul Hayes in a release.
But that plan changed just before midnight on July 16, when Whistler RCMP was advised that a bait bike activation had occurred.
"The bike was tracked to a secluded area in Brio Park where two persons, a 43-year-old male from Burnaby and a 40-year-old male from Surrey, were arrested waiting to place the bike in the back of a vehicle," Hayes said, adding that the investigation is in its early stages but several charge recommendations are being considered.
The Whistler RCMP has partnered with local businesses in securing a rotating fleet of bicycles that it strategically places throughout Whistler, to be used as "bait" for thieves.
The bikes are monitored live through police dispatch 24 hours day. If stolen, a bait bike will alert police dispatch, which can track the bike with precision to the exact location in real time.
"Whistler RCMP is working hard to combat bike theft in the community and the Bait Bike Program is one of the ways we have managed to reduce bike theft 40 per cent in 2017," Hayes said.
"Police also want to remind the public it is important that owners take steps to secure their bicycles with quality locks and to register their bikes with programs like 'Project 529 Garage,' which is designed to help owners register and keep track of their bikes, serial numbers and other pertinent information using social media to alert the community in the event their bike is stolen.
"The program also allows people to register their bikes with a visible tamperproof decal. The program has been successful in returning stolen bikes to their rightful owners."
BITCOIN SCAM CLAIMS ANOTHER VICTIM
Another Sea to Sky resident has fallen prey to scammers.
In the most recent incident July 10, a person reported being defrauded $2,000 in a scam where the suspect posed as a representative from the Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) via text and demanded a Bitcoin payment.
"The victim claimed that the fraudster had threatened to have them arrested if they did not pay. After making the payment via QR code the offender requested more money-this lead the victim to realize they had been scammed," Hayes said in a release.
"The RCMP wishes to inform the public that this is a widespread scam. The CRA does not demand payment using Bitcoin."
Members of the public can protect themselves by checking the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre website for a list of on-going scams at www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca.
Residents who think they have been targeted by this or any other scam can call 1-888-495-8501 to report.