Bike thefts are on the rise in Vancouver, police say

Vancouver police are warning the public about a recent “spike” in bicycle thefts.

According to police, 257 bikes were reported stolen between July 31 and August 21. That’s up from the 167 bikes reported stolen during the same period last year.

This year, 1,417 bikes have been stolen so far. In 2008, 1,596 bikes were stolen.

Police say both residential and commercial areas are being targeted.

“Thieves are not being deterred easily and even bikes stored on apartment balconies are being stolen,” read an update sent to media today by Const. Jana McGuinness. “In some cases the thief has scaled the balcony and thrown the bike over to the ground below before riding off. Apartment building storage lockers and residential garages are popular targets as well.”

Police advise recording a bicycle’s serial number, using a sturdy lock, and noting any modifications, which can aid in identifying a bike should it be stolen.

You can follow Stephen Hui on Twitter at



civil cyclist

Aug 24, 2009 at 5:17pm

Is it possible that bike theft is about the same but the registration of bikes and reporting of bike theft has increased thanks to programs with local bike shops and MEC.

10 9Rating: +1

Richard Smith

Aug 24, 2009 at 6:01pm

Not to mention the very efficient, web-based theft registration system that the VPD has implemented. I don't know how long that has been in place but when I went to report my daughter's recent bike theft (grrrr, Trek 820, if you've seen it...), I was pleasantly surprised. Of course that doesn't get your bike back.

I have advised my children that bikes are not to be left unattended. Ever. Anywhere. Businesses are going to have to step up to the challenge of accommodating bikes better and more securely or we'll lose the momentum on building this into a bike friendly city. If people can't leave their bike for a minute then they won't consider them as transportation options.


Aug 24, 2009 at 8:57pm

Yep, I got my bike that was locked to a bike rack stolen last month. When I reported it to a policeman I saw near the scene they didn't even care. I have registered the theft on CPIC but I doubt it if the police will ever recover it.

Forget environmental responsiblity. Who can afford it.

Now I just drive my car everywhere.

Not PC

Aug 24, 2009 at 9:37pm

I have a heavy duty bike chain with a U-lock. I will use it to beat someone to death if I ever catch them in the act of stealing my bike. 100 bikes a week getting stolen, thats probably only 20 busy theives at work. Break their legs/take them out; for every one MIA you will have 5% less thefts. Yeah I pulled those numbers out of my a$$ but you get the point.

13 9Rating: +4

unNot PC

Aug 25, 2009 at 4:42pm

Not PC, assaulting bike thieves will only get you arrested for assault. Believe me I like to pound on their a$$ if I catch on of them in the act. but your simplistic solution is not practical in the real world. In this province the law is more concerned about the criminals than the victims.

Most don't even report thieves

Aug 29, 2009 at 10:19am

Why bother I am not getting my bike back and I've lost more than a few. So I don't even bother and I know most others don't bother with the police. Hard up times, hard up people as 20$ gets you a hot bike as BC high unemployment continues while the rest of Canada sees some light. Also some may be in need of transportation and a couple cops over a 2.50 fare makes grabbing someone's bike the way to go. Can I get a police officer to guard my bike, you know like Campbell has officers guard Canadian line's fares?

11 9Rating: +2