Make sure to secure your bike with a strong lock in Richmond’s City Centre—that’s the neighbourhood where bike thefts are most concentrated in the city.
Cpl. Dennis Hwang with Richmond RCMP confirmed data from Richmond’s crime map that suggested bikes are more likely to be stolen from the downtown core.
“But bike thefts can happen anywhere,” he said.
In the first three months of 2019, there were 20 reported bike thefts in the city. That’s up from 15 reported bike thefts in the first three months of 2018 but down from 27 in the first three months of 2017.
Richmond RCMP try to recover stolen bikes when they can. The force runs undercover operations on sites like Craigslist and Facebook Market Place to find them.
Suspects typically steal multiple bikes, Hwang said, and police have been working with the BC Prosecution Service to link certain bikes to certain suspects.
“If those suspects are caught with a different bike that is not registered to them, they can be found in breach of their conditions. This is something very new and we are seeing positive progress in this field.”
Overall, reported bike thefts seem to be trending downward, Hwang said, and attributed that to more people registering their bikes and securing them well.
Hwang encouraged Richmondites to register their bikes with Garage 529, a database used by hundreds of police departments.
He also advised cyclists to avoid cable locks altogether, since they can be cut in a matter of seconds.
“Use a strong U-lock,” he said. “Although they are heavy and more expensive, they are the only devices that provide any protection.”
No lock is invincible, though, Hwang added.