As Bicycling is Embraced, Bike Thefts Rise

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We've written here about Long Beach city officials promoting bicycling, a Long Beach festival promoting bicycling and a Long Beach filmmaker promoting bicycling.

The hope was someone from Orange County would read one or all of those and think, "We can do it better than Long Beach."

But, in the interest of full disclosure, it must be noted that with more bicycling comes more bicycle thefts.

"While other property crimes such as auto theft, petty theft and commercial burglary dropped, the number of bicycle thefts in Long Beach skyrocketed nearly 75 percent last year," Kelly Puente writes in the Long Beach Press-Telegram.

"An estimated 600 bicycles were reported stolen last year, up from 350 in 2008, according to statistics from the LBPD. This year, the numbers have been increasing steadily, with 230 bicycles reported stolen between January and May."

She notes a police impound lot on Long Beach's Westside has an estimated 400 beach cruisers, mountain bikes and BMX bikes stored inside rusty shipping containers.

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Photo by Danny Lyons/National Archives
Tricked out!
The bicycles, many of which are stolen property found or confiscated by police, will eventually go to auction.

(Want to buy one? Go to propertyroom.com.)

Police say more bikes are being stolen because more people are using them to ride to work or run routine errands.

You know, the trips we're supposed to be making more often on two people-powered wheels instead of two- or four gas-powered wheels.

Cal State Long Beach Police have also have seen a sharp increase in bike thefts on campus, the story reports.

Long Beach city officials say the best way to prevent bike crime is to register your ride, which you can do Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to noon at every fire station in Long Beach. Cost is $3.

Registrations are also taken at Bikestation Long Beach, 222 East Broadway. The station also offers tips for keep your bike secure and rents out space to store bikes safely.

The city also offers information at bikelongbeach.org.


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