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Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Are We Getting Better at Protecting our Bicycles?

Posted by Dirk VanderHart on Tue, Jun 4, 2013 at 12:44 PM

I miss this bike, and realize I should have used a better lock.
  • Dirk VanderHart
  • I miss this bike, and realize I should have used a better lock.

More than 300 less fewer Portlanders had their bikes stolen last year than in 2011, the Portland Police Bureau is reporting.

While that's not going to get me back the glorious maroon Peugeot stolen from my front porch a couple years ago, I suppose it's hopeful news. The problem, of course, is figuring out why Portland saw 13 percent less reported bike theft last year. Did we better lock our bikes? Is theft diminishing with the (very) modest improvements in the economy? Have Portlanders accepted theft as an inevitability or increasingly eschewed the idea of personal property, and so not bothered filing police reports?

The PPB doesn't know, but here are some interesting facts it just sent along in a news release.

* Portland had a total of 2,050 reported incidents of bike theft in 2012. This was 305 fewer reports than 2011 (-13%).

* The top three neighborhoods where bikes were stolen were: Downtown, Northwest and the Pearl District (all in Central Precinct's area).

* The next top neighborhoods included: Sunnyside, Hosford-Abernethy; Sellwood-Moreland, Lents, Concordia, Hazelwood and Richmond.

* Saturday was the most popular day of the week for thefts citywide and Wednesday was for the Downtown area.

* Trek was the most stolen brand; Specialized, Schwinn and Cannondale came in next.

* The value of bikes stolen ranged from $3,000 to $400; the highest number of bikes were in the $500 range.

It's no small feat to get your bike back once it's been stolen. A roommate of mine got the welcome news his Kona had been recovered from a drug house, some years ago. It was re-stolen mere weeks later.

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