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Bike thefts on the rise in South Bay

September 28, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
There's been a major increase in the number of stolen bicycles in the South Bay.There's been an alarming increase in the number of stolen bicycles in the South Bay, all the way from El Segundo, through Manhattan Beach and Hermosa Beach to Redondo Beach.

Police think these are professional bike thieves, crews that come down to the South Bay specifically targeting bikes. Police have made arrests, but they say it's going to be up to the cyclists to keep their property safe.

Like so many other cyclists who use this famous bike path, Dion Swanepoel uses a small cable lock to keep his bike secure.

But with organized bike thieves working in teams, police say those types of locks simply aren't enough.

Lt. Joe Hoffman with the Redondo Beach Police Dept. says bicycle thieves are able to cut through cable locks like these in minutes. Since July, there have been 68 bicycles stolen in Redondo Beach alone, many of them re-sold on eBay or Craigslist.

Police have made several arrests over the last two months, and have recovered several stolen bikes. But Hoffman says it's a big problem, due in part to the downturn in the economy.

Hoffman recommends sturdier, so-called U-locks.

Some of the cyclists out Monday afternoon say they take few chances with their bikes, especially when some can cost upwards of a thousand dollars.

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