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Cyclists who park their unlocked e-bikes outside the city’s Target and Walmart stores while they dash in to make a purchase may find their expensive bikes gone when they come back out.
E-bike thefts are becoming an increasing problem, North Coastal Sheriff’s station Capt. Christopher Lawrence told the City Council Wednesday. Thieves check out the row of parked e-bikes in front of stores, look for unlocked ones that no one is watching and ride away on them, he said.
In the past year, 49 e-bikes have been stolen — 10 in the month of July alone. Many of these theft incidents have occurred in the city’s Target and Walmart shopping centers, rather than from people’s garages, Lawrence said. He added that the majority of the thefts could have been prevented if people would take one simple precaution — lock their bikes. Twenty-eight of the 49 stolen bikes were unlocked.
Unlocked bikes are an “easy target for someone to jump on and ride off on,” Lawrence said, mentioning that shopping center parking lot security camera footage shows that thieves pretend to be talking on cell phones to give themselves cover while scoping out the parked bikes to see if they’re locked.
The Sheriff’s Department isn’t allowed to recommend specific bike lock brands, Lawrence said, but he encouraged e-bike owners to purchase one of the newer bike lock designs that features bars linked together like an oversized chain because […]