Bike thieves beware: Operation Hands Off is deploying bait bikes throughout the Kootenays in a joint effort with Nelson police and the RCMP to crack down on bike theft.
Bait bikes will be deployed in many popular locations. The bikes are equipped with tracking devices and hidden cameras to record the theft. “Thieves can be sure of a one way ticket to jail” said Pat Cowman, director of the Operation Hands Off program.
“The Operation Hands Off Bait Bike project is modeled after the Province wide bait car program which has been very effective at reducing vehicle theft in the Province,” said Nelson police chief Wayne Holland, former head of IMPACT (Integrated Municipal Provincial Auto Crime Team). “Bait bikes have been shown to reduce bike thefts in other parts of the country and we support this initiative to deter bike theft in our community.”
“Cycling is a major tourist attraction throughout the Kootenays and we want to ensure everyone enjoys their summer vacation” said Cpl. Darryl Orr of the Kootenay Boundary regional detachment crime reduction unit. “The bait bikes and registry help to deter theft and assist in the identification of bikes that are recovered.”
A global bike registry in partnership with Canadian Crime Stoppers Association and Norco Bicycles is part of the growing movement to curb bike theft and assist with the return of found bikes across the country. Typically stolen bikes are moved from the local area or sold online through sites such as eBay or Craigslist. In some cases the bikes are used for a ride to other areas and are recovered by police or found by citizens.
Citizens can take a stand against crime by registering their bikes, using a high quality lock and always checking the serial number of used bikes on the Operation Hands Off web site before buying a used bike. These simple steps make registered bikes too hot to handle and reduce the risk of theft.
Found bikes can also be returned through the Operation Hands Off program.
A community bike registry will be held in Nelson on Wednesday at the farmers market on Baker Street between 9:30 a.m. and 3 p.m.
Local Crime Stoppers volunteers will be on hand to assist bike owners with the registry of their bikes. The registry is provide as a community service and sponsored by MicroDotDNA Technology and Norco Bicycles.