Bike Thefts on the Rise

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EUGENE, Ore. — Despite Eugene being a bike-friendly town, it’s not unusual to see bike theft. It’s the most recent theft numbers that have surprised police.

When you lock your bike, Eugene police recommend something more than just a chain or cable. They say it’s as easy as buying a good lock. There are a lot of bike locks out there, but there’s only one type the police recommend.

“The most important is to use a high quality metal u-lock. This one specifically is referring to a Kryptonite, but the whole thing comes down to it needs to be a nice heavy quality,” said Sgt. Lisa Barrong, Eugene Police Crime Prevention Unit.

The heavy metal is what Eugene police say will keep those thieves from being able to cut through the lock. Officers say it’s a simple step that can keep people from being part of the 64 percent spike in thefts.

“They put it on their front porch and think it’s going to be safe there or in a car port or in a bike rack because there’s a lot of people around. That is not possible. There really is no safe place to leave a bike unlocked unless it’s inside your residence,” Barrong said.

In 2012, thefts were at about 100. But just in the first quarter of 2013, they’re at nearly 175.

“If you look at us comparison across the country per capita we’ve been right up there, usually in the higher numbers, as far as number of bike thefts per year. But this increase is so significant that it really has us concerned,” Barrong said.

“You’d think they’d be more respectful considering how bike-friendly it is with all our trails and stuff, you know, but I also think that makes it more likely for there to be an interest in bicycles and stuff. So I think that it has to do with the theft,” said Eugene resident Aaron Luke.

One woman told KEZI 9 News her, her husband’s and child’s bike have all been stolen and the criminals steal at times of the day you wouldn’t expect.

“They’re starting to do it in the daytime. They’re very upset and hurt their kids go out to ride their bike and their bike’s not there,” said Eugene resident Bobby King.

If you’re looking for a good bike lock, they’re easy to find. You can pick one up for between $20 and $40.

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