EUGENE, Ore. -- The Eugene Police Department is working to catch bike thieves in action with bait bikes.
Jeff Blonde, a Crime Prevention Officer with the Eugene Police Department, said they have been using bait bikes for a number of years. Police leave out bikes that are easy to steal in areas that are high in crime. Blonde said once the bike is stolen, they use GPS and other methods to track down the crook.
Earlier this month, two people were arrested after they fell victim to bait bikes in the downtown core. Blonde said their goal isn't to arrest people but make them think twice before they steal.
Jay Loew, co-owner of Hutch's Bicycle Store, said he's been a victim before and supports the program.
"I think it's great," Loew said. "Eugene is certainly a bike capitol, and we have a tremendous epidemic of bike thefts. And I think any way we can deter people from stealing a bike is a win."
Blonde said during the month of June alone, 73 bikes were stolen, and only eight where recovered. Both Loew and Blonde recommend bike users register their bikes and properly lock them up.
To learn how and register with the Eugene Police Department, click here.