A surge in bike thefts in Flagstaff has police warning cyclists to be diligent and lock up their rides.

Since Aug. 1, Flagstaff police have investigated 29 reported bicycle thefts. In the meantime, the NAU Police Division has been investigating an extra eight. In response to Flagstaff Police Division spokesperson Odis Brockman, 9 of the bikes reported had been valued at over $1,000 — a number of at over $3,000.

Recovering a single stolen bicycle, to not point out greater than 30, is difficult work for police.

“It’s not like a automobile, the place we are able to simply run the license plate from behind and inform if it’s been entered stolen or not,” Brockman mentioned. “A bicycle, it’s a must to say, ‘Are you able to go forward and step off the bicycle?’ after which flip it over and take a look at the serial quantity. Folks usually aren’t as prepared to allow us to do this. In the event that they inform us no, a whole lot of instances our choice is to thank them and need them a pleasant day,” Brockman mentioned.

Even in that instance, a sufferer of theft would want to have their bicycle serial quantity helpful. However not everybody has that data saved or recorded.

The Flagstaff Police Division does have a motorcycle registration program. For a $2 price, police will take down the serial quantity and an outline of your bicycle so {that a} theft is simpler to report and examine. Brockman additionally recommends photographing and taking down your bicycle’s serial quantity on your personal data.

For the reason that 29 bikes had been reported stolen over the previous month and a half, police have made arrests — in a couple of instances, arresting the identical suspect greater than as soon as for various crimes.

Nonetheless, investigators aren’t positive how finest to account for the spike in burglaries.

Brockman mentioned bicycle theft is a good instance of a criminal offense of alternative, and it might partially come right down to an increase in alternatives for thieves to grab a high-value merchandise.

“Bikes are simple targets,” Brockman mentioned. “Oftentimes they’re left unlocked or locked with actually weak, feeble locks. I don’t perceive — generally folks spend $4,000 on a motorcycle and $20 on a lock. Flip-around is tremendous simple. It’s simple to show round and promote the elements for the bikes, particularly the higher-end ones. These elements go for a ton of cash on the web.”

Conventional or coil bike locks usually tend to be lower, Brockman mentioned. He recommends metal “D” locks. He additionally advises homeowners of high-value bicycles to contemplate spending extra on safety.

Along with locking up bicycles and shifting them inside in a single day, Brockman hopes the spree shall be ended partially by residents calling in or reporting incidents of theft after they witness them.

“When you see one thing, say one thing. When you’re happening the road and also you see someone chopping a lock on a bicycle, say one thing. Take the cellphone out of your pocket and name us. Don’t wait a pair hours after which inform us, or suppose, ‘Subsequent time I see a police officer, then I’ll allow them to know.’ It’s too late then,” Brockman mentioned.

In some instances, biking fanatics spend as a lot on their bikes as one may spend on a used automobile, or extra. In others, a motorcycle may characterize an individual’s solely dependable type of transportation. That’s why Brockman hopes police and diligent residents will have the ability to curb the spike in theft.

“Flagstaff is an enormous bicycling neighborhood,” Brockman mentioned. “Let’s all resolve this, let’s cease these guys. And above all, don’t make your self a straightforward goal. Get nearly as good of a lock as you may afford.”

Sierra Ferguson will be reached at [email protected]