Huntington Beach prime target for bike thefts

Wednesday, November 12, 2014
Huntington Beach prime target for bike thefts
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Bike thefts are on the rise in Huntington Beach.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif. (KABC) -- Bike thefts are on the rise in Huntington Beach.

In 2008, 277 bikes were reported stolen. That number skyrocketed to 680 bikes in 2013, according to the Department of Justice and the Huntington Beach police.

"It happens a lot when we're out surfing or just down at the beach. We'll come back in the morning and bikes will be gone. It just happened to a few of my friends recently," Huntington Beach resident Andrew Stevens said.

So far this year, the police department says 511 bikes have been stolen.

Huntington Beach police credits the slight decrease in monthly thefts to new surveillance cameras downtown and at the pier.

If the cameras catch someone, officers post their photo on the department's Facebook page. That's the case with the photo below, showing a suspected bike thief in action on November 9.

A suspected bike thief is caught in action on surveillance video taken at Huntington Beach on November 9.

"We've received citizen tips on suspects and we've made arrests for that," Huntington Beach Police Officer Jennifer Marlatt said.

Police say using common cable locks to secure your bike may not be enough to keep thieves away.

"Many people do lock up their bikes, but thieves will use bolt cutters to cut the locks and take their bikes," Marlatt said

Mike Faello of Surf City Cyclery recommends using a bigger cable or buying a U-Lock.

"The bigger the cable, the harder it is to cut, but really, the best way to do it these days is to go with the U-Lock," Faello said.

Officers also encourage people to keep a record of their bicycles.

"What we tell people is to write down the serial number and keep a record of it in case your bike is stolen. If the officers come across it, they have a way to track it," Marlatt said.