Richmond Police Offer Tips to Prevent Bike Theft - 8NEWS - WRIC | News Where You Live

Richmond Police Offer Tips to Prevent Bike Theft

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Summer is a popular time to cruise around the city on two wheels, but it's also a prime time for thieves to target bicycles.

The City of Richmond sees a spike in bicycle thefts during the summer months. About 200 bikes have already been reported stolen this year.

Lt. Erlan Marshall of the Richmond Police Department says the city is on track to top last year's total of 474 bikes stolen.

Lt. Marshall led a demonstration in Carytown Thursday afternoon showing how -- in a matter of seconds -- a thief can cut a lock and ride off with a stolen bike.

He says it's a quick crime, but one that can be prevented by following these key tips:

1) Register your bike at nationalbikeregistry.com

2) Always lock your bike with a quality lock

3) Secure your bike to a sturdy "authorized" fixture

While registering a bike won't prevent it from getting into the hands of a thief, it can get it back into your hands if it goes missing.

"Should an officer come in contact with that bicycle, we would know that it actually belongs to you. We'll be able to trace it back to you and if not stop the crime, recover the bike and arrest the perpetrator," said Lt. Marshall.

Police say a tree or front porch are not considered acceptable places to lock your bike, but a bike rack is.

The city has already installed 50 new bike racks in the last week and have about 150 more on the way this summer.

"We're working with a local workforce development program to procure bike racks locally and have them fabricated by folks in our workforce development training program that are getting certified as welders," said Jakob Helmboldt, Richmond's Pedestrian, Bicycle and Trails Coordinator.

Helmboldt says the city is also working on design standards for bike corrals. Those will allow bike parking without taking up sidewalk space. He says high-demand areas for corrals include Carytown, The Fan, Downtown, Union Hill and Church Hill.

Copyright 2014 by Young Broadcasting of Richmond

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