Crime

Bend PD 'bait bike' stings: 16 arrests, big drop in thefts

60 percent drop comes after 49 percent jump last year

Bend PD crack down on bike thefts

BEND, Ore. - Bend police reported a success story this week a 60 percent drop in bike thefts this year after a nearly 50 percent increase last year, thanks to a variety of coordinated efforts and some "bait bike" sting operations that led to 16 felony bike theft arrests.

The police department said during these summer months bike thefts usually increase around Bend, but after a sting operation and other steps, those numbers are going down.

In 2015, Bend police received over 360 bicycle theft reports.

Sgt. Dan Ritchie said Wednesday that most stolen bikes are not locked.

He said thieves are also getting brave and looking for bikes with a cheap lock that's easy to cut.

Police started to notice the bike theft trend and launched a "bait bike" sting operation.

"We're going to continue to run that effort," Ritchie said. "It's been successful, and we want to get the message out that were doing these type of things."

According to police, the value of the bikes and accessories reported stolen in 2015 totaled more than $400,000.

The top locations for bike thefts were in the yard or on the front porch. Thefts also  happen frequently at bike racks around town and in home garages.

Police said 93 percent of garages were not secured when bikes were stolen.

"It's important that people lock their garages, and most of these thefts are occurring around houses not just garages but on porches and yards. People are leaving their bikes out," Ritchie said.

Willow Parker rides her bike to work and said she has never had it stolen. And sshe never worries about it happening.

"I think Bend is a pretty safe place, in general," Parker said."There's a lot of people around, especially during tourist season, so I think people would be caught in a public place. But you never know."

The police department said bicyclists can register their bikes at

Bike Index

Bend police encourage you to take the following steps to protect your investment.

-Register your bike with BikeIndex.org

-Lock your bike with a high quality, proven lock.

-Secure your garage at all times.

-Don't leave your bike unlocked and unattended.

-Don't leave your bike locked and unattended for extended periods of time.

-Report your bike theft immediately and provide accurate, detailed information to assist with a speedy recovery. Online reporting is available.

Here's the Bend PD news release:

In 2015, the Bend Police Department received over 360 bicycle theft reports,  accounting for more than 400 bicycles stolen inside City limits. These reports resulted in a 49% increase over 2014.

Crime analysis revealed the following information:

•70% of stolen bikes were not locked or required no force to remove them.

•30% of stolen bikes were secured but had their locks cut or broken.

•The value of bikes and accessories reported stolen in 2015 exceeded $467,000.

•Less than 20% of bikes were recovered and returned to their owners.

(This is considerably higher than the national average)

•Only 25% of victims knew all or part of their bike's serial number. Knowing this number gives police the best chance to identify and return your bike.

•The top 5 locations for bike theft were:

1. Yard/porch/driveway – 32.7%

2. Bike rack – 19.0%

3. Garage – 12.6%

*93% of garages were not secured when bikes were stolen

4. Outside a business (not on a bike rack) – 11.0%

5. Vehicle/truck bed, or on vehicle rack – 6.9%

The Bend Police Department responded to these findings by implementing the following actions:

Implementation of proactive patrol efforts that continue to identify and arrest serial bike thieves and recover stolen bikes.

Formation of the Central Oregon Bike Theft Task force, comprised of representatives from Bend Police Department, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office, Redmond PD, Sunriver PD, and Prineville PD.

•Formation of the Bend Bike Theft Committee with representatives from Bend PD, Pine Mountain Sports, Commute Options, Visit Bend, Bendbikes.org, and BikeIndex.org.

•Partnering with BikeIndex for fast, free and easy online bike registration.

•Partnering with the community based Bend Bike Theft Committee to generate awareness with local bike shop owners through the first Bend Bike Theft Summit.

•Implementation of a "Bait Bike" sting operations which resulted in 14 arrests for felony (bike) theft. Of those suspects arrested, 12 had prior arrest for theft, 4 had active arrest warrants, and 1 was in possession of controlled substances.

Compared to January through June of 2015, bike theft in Bend has dropped over 60% in 2016. The Bend Police Department is committed to working with community partners in crime prevention and problem solving.

Community awareness and education is also paramount to the overall success in bike theft reduction. The Bend Police Department encourages you to take the following steps to protect your investment:

*Register your bike with BikeIndex.org.

*Lock your bike with a high quality, proven lock.

*Secure your garage at all times.

*Don't leave your bike unlocked and unattended.

*Don't leave your bike locked and unattended for extended periods of time.

*Report your bike theft immediately and provide accurate, detailed information to assist with a speedy recovery. Online reporting is available.

Our advice to bike thieves:

Don't steal bikes!

Don't steal the bait bikes!

Our officers are actively looking for you!


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