The Victoria Police Department and local business Oak Bay Bicycles had welcome news for one young Victoria resident who had his bicycle stolen in late June.
After local student Owen’s bicycle was stolen from its locked spot at his school, VicPD and the Oak Bay bicycle shop acquired a brand new Norco bike at a discounted price for the youth.
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On June 20th, Owen (surname withheld) parked and locked his bike at his school in the 100 block of Oswego Street. When classes were finished and Owen returned outside, he found his bike was gone.
His family then reported it stolen and gave VicPD a description of the bicycle.
Four days later, on June 24th, a VicPD officer spotted a man riding a bicycle that resembled Owen’s stolen two-wheeler.
The man then committed several traffic infractions at which point the officer approached him.
The attending officer quickly determined that the bicycle did not belong to the man riding it, and discovered that it had been recently modified in an attempt to disguise it.
Officers then seized the bicycle as stolen property and let the rider go without charges.
Once the bike was seized, police determined that its recent modifications made it unsafe to ride, leaving Owen without a bike.
When VicPD officers heard about Owen’s situation, they began gathering funds to help offset the cost of buying a replacement bike.
News of the fundraising efforts eventually made its way to VicPD Sgt. John Musicco, who contacted Oak Bay Bicycles who then worked with bicycle company Norco to acquire a replacement bicycle at a reduced price.
A little over a week after he reported his bike as stolen, VicPD officers surprised Owen with a brand new bicycle on Saturday, June 29th.
Bike thefts on the rise
According to Victoria Police, bicycle theft continues to be a significant issue in the area.
“This year, in the City of Victoria alone there have been 302 reports of theft of Bikes under $5,000, and 7 reports of Bikes Over $5,000,” said VicPD in a statement.
Since the beginning of 2019, Victoria Police say they have recovered 66 stolen bikes and seized another 92 that are suspected to have been stolen from the area or nearby jurisdictions.
The department notes that several of these bicycles had been stolen from storage lockers and returned to owners who were not even aware that they were missing.
To help protect your bike, police recommend ensuring it is locked when parked, securing it in a storage locker, and registering it on VicPD’s free bike registry which can assist you and officers if it does get stolen.
You can register your bicycle with VicPD online here.