Sunday, December 22, 2013

Increase in DC area bike thefts

The Sunday Post has a good article on bicycle theft in the region, Bike thefts rise in D.C. and Northern Virginia, with Metro stations frequently targeted. See our blog post in September about increased thefts in Fairfax.

From the Post article:
Photo: Washington Post
In Arlington County, 380 bike thefts were reported as of mid-October, compared with 233 during the same period a year ago. Fairfax police reported 468 thefts in that period — up 19 percent from 2012. In Alexandria, bike thefts are at a five-year peak. As of late September, 153 had been stolen this year, up 43 percent from last year.

D.C. police reported arresting 98 people for bike thefts in 2012, up from 65 arrests the year before.

The rise in thefts might be partly a result of the District’s success in promoting bicycle use. The percentage of people biking to work in the city increased more than 30 percent from 2011 to 2012, based on data from the U.S. Census, adding tens of thousands more bicyclists to the road.

“There’s more people biking, there’s more bikes on the street and there are more people riding who may not know the best way to lock up their bikes,” said Greg Billing, the advocacy coordinator at the Washington Area Bicyclist Association. “There are definitely professional bike thieves seeking high-end bikes that aren’t locked properly and will sell them for a lot of money.” There are also, he said, “dumb kids looking to do something.”

Metro stations are a frequent target. They have seen a 50 percent increase in bike thefts over the past year, from 202 reports last year to 303 as of the end of August this year, said Morgan Dye, a spokeswoman for the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority.



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