Bike Thievery Around the Nation
Every weekday morning I get a journalism story ideas email from the Poynter Institute. It's a terrific way to keep up on various stories developing around the country. This morning it had a bit on bicycle thefts:
Bike Thieves Keep ActiveNot included in the Poynter email but another interesting article is Chasing my stolen bicycle by Justin Jouvenal in the San Francisco Bay Guardian. I like this quote from the article:
As people try to go green and ride their bicycles, bike thieves are having a field day. (Texas Hill Country Daily Times). I am seeing reports of rising bicycle thefts in Washington, D.C., (WJLA, Channel 7 ABC from Falls Church, VA) where thieves are hitting metro stations. Some places like this Michigan town, (Northville, Michigan), Denver (Denver Post) and West Des Moines, Iowa, (KCCI Channel 8 CBS) are installing bike racks to prevent thefts.
It's no wonder bikes are so attractive to thieves. They are easy to steal, they can be worth a lot of money these days and they are easy to sell to places like pawnshops. Police often don't spend much time investigating the crime, so the chances of getting caught are small. This would make for a fairly easy story to personalize in your town.
In Denmark, police have announced they won't spend much time on bike thefts, but will instead focus on more serious crime. An estimated 80,000 bikes are stolen (The Copenhagen Post) in Denmark each year. If you figure there are three months a year when bikes are not frequently used in Denmark, this would mean that more than 10,000 bikes a month — a few thousand or so a week — are stolen.
"Bikes are one of the four commodities of the street — cash, drugs, sex, and bikes," Veysey told me. "You can virtually exchange one for another."I've had one bicycle stolen, from my garage, and it was maddening. Funnily enough, I'd be angrier if my Atlantis was stolen than if my pickup was stolen. Bicycle thievery is one place where I can see the advantages of sharia law--cut off their hands!