Read the police blotter any give week during the summer and it’s sure to include two or three stolen bicycle reports.
Crescent City Police Chief Richard Griffin said the area does normally see an uptick during the summer vacation months. However, this year is different.
“I do think it’s up. We’ve definitely seen an increase,” Griffin said.
He said bicycle thefts usually coincide with additional people and tourists in town.
“Thieves usually target people from out of town,” Griffin said.
He pointed to campgrounds and hotels as the highest targets of opportunity.
Griffin said his patrols have uncovered a chop shop at a residential house where a huge pile of stolen bicycles were discovered. He added it appeared the parts were being used for mix and match purposes to ride around town with, rather than for resale.
“It appears to be a little organized thing going on,” Griffin said. “It seems more organized than one or two guys doing it.”
Griffin said in response to the increased rate of thefts, CCPD is stepping up patrols, including patrolmen on bicycle. In addition, his department is working on an undercover, plain clothes operation and a couple other programs he couldn’t discuss at this time for fear of alerting the thieves.
Griffin recommends never leaving a bicycle on the back of vehicles or motor homes over night. If at a hotel or motel, he said to bring the bicycle into the room with you if possible. If at a campground, lock it up as best you can.
“Also, document the bike’s serials numbers and have a picture of the bike,” Griffin said. “That way, if it’s stolen you can identify it. If you can’t identify it, you can’t prove it was stolen.”