Lockport Union-Sun & Journal Online

May 31, 2013

Warm weather brings out bike thieves

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal

Lockport Union-Sun & Journal — Warm weather has returned to Niagara County to stay for the summer, and with that comes popular outdoor activities such as walking, inline skating and bike rides. However, accompanying the warm weather is the higher risk of thefts.

Deputies from the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office are investigating a trio of stolen bicycles that occurred over Memorial Day weekend along Glenwood Drive, off Strauss Road in the town of Lockport.

According to sheriff’s reports, deputies responded to a pair of bicycle theft complaints within 30 minutes of each other Monday morning.

Both complainants told deputies that they had noticed a large group of juveniles loitering on the street late Sunday night, but were unsure if they had anything to do with the missing bikes.

The first victim said she noticed the group, but after a short while they began to leave. She went to bed around 12:30 a.m. When she woke up Monday, she noticed a chair in the back of her home had been moved. She took a closer look and saw that both her and her son’s bike were missing.

The son’s bike, a blue and black 20-inch Mongoose, is valued at $150. Her bike is described as blue, gray and white, is a 26-inch 18-speed mountain bike valued at $100. The victim was unable to provide serial numbers for the bikes.

A deputy checked the surrounding area, but was unable to locate the bicycles.

At 10 a.m. Monday, a deputy fielded a second bicycle theft complaint. The second victim said she and her son noticed a group of suspicious juveniles gathered around in the street in front of her house. She stayed up for a little while to watch and “make sure they weren’t engaged in any negative behavior.”

She also went to bed after the juveniles dispersed. When she woke up the next day and went outside, she noticed that her son’s 20-inch Mongoose BMX bike, valued at $200 was missing.

One of the victims was able to get the names of a couple of the juveniles.

Several police agencies offer bicycle registration programs that help identify stolen bicycles. In addition, they offer a few tips to help prevent bicycle thefts:

• Bicycles should be locked when they are not in use. It’s also important to lock parts attached with quick-release mechanisms such as wheels.

• Do not leave your bike lying in the yard, or in your garage with the garage door open.

• Do not walk away from your bike, thinking you will only be gone a few seconds.

• Do not hide your bike behind bushes and think it is safe.

• Do not let strangers ride your bike.