The summer is ending but bicycle thefts are showing no sign of slowing down. There were two reported thefts just yesterday. One bicycle was taken off an apartment porch. Dee Griffin has a look at the problem and how bike shop owners are trying to stop it.
This is the scene of the most recent rash of thefts that has robbed dozens of people of their prized possession and others without a mode of transportation.
On Thursday, a man riding his bicycle in the area of 9th Avenue and Martin Luther King, Junior Boulevard was approached and punched in his face. The unknown suspect then left with the man's bike. Earlier that morning, a chain and lock were no match for the person who stole a bicycle worth about two hundred dollars at this apartment complex. The last four months have seen countless thefts of bicycles across the CSRA. "Thieves steal what's available and there's a lot of bicycles out there and the bicycles have risen in cost. They're more valuable. They're probably a little more convenient," says Phil Cohen. He owns popular bike shop, Chain Reaction Bicycles in Evans, Georgia.
According to a bicycle theft watchdog group, an estimated one point five million bikes are stolen nationwide every year. The Augusta area saw a large percent over the summer. But local bike shop owners, like Cohen, have stepped up to help put the brakes on a problem that is spinning out of control. Cohen says, "we kind of network with each other to make sure that if we do find the bike that is stolen we can not only get it back to the owner but make sure that the person who stole it gets arrested."
While there is a ring of thieves looking for higher end bicycles to sell for top dollar, riders with lower priced bikes should be on the lookout for people who just want to score something for nothing. Cohen explains, "what we tend to see is the common thief who's just an opportunist. He would steal your bicycle or your purse or your wallet or whatever's convenient."
You can increase your chances of getting a bike back if stolen. You can join the National Bike Registry. It's a resource police use to cross check serial numbers and reunite a bike and its owner. Just go to nationalbikeregistry.com to register your bicycle.
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