Bike owners on high alert for potential summer thefts
MISSOULA, Mont. —
A warning from Missoula police, nice weather means thieves may be eyeing your bicycle.
Riding a bike is a form of transportation many people in Missoula take advantage of.
“I probably started with training wheels before I have memory. I love riding bikes, because as I grew up, that’s where I had my freedom,” Missoula resident Brad Applegate said.
Things took a turn when someone stole parts of his bike.
“I had hand-built a custom rear wheel for a bike I was riding. I left it parked, and the frame was locked up outside of the Wilma for the night. Woke up the next morning to find the bike was still there, but the rear wheel was gone,” Applegate said.
It’s a devastating experience and many can relate.
According to the Montana Board of Crime Control Bureau, in Missoula County there were 409 bicycle thefts in 2017, 577 thefts in 2016 and 471 thefts in 2015.
The Missoula Police Department is recommending that you take extra precautions. Know the serial number of your bike, take a picture of your bike and, most importantly, lock your bike even on a quick stop.
Kevin Downey at Hellgate Cyclery says a way to keep your bike safe starts with a high-quality lock.
“It’s made of high-quality materials that are harder to break, cut and break into,” Downey said.
To secure your bike you can also use multiple locks on your frame and wheels.
Expert’s say it’s better to be safe than sorry.
As for Applegate, the next time he parks his bike he is going to consider all possible outcomes.