Anyone in the Vancouver area who has had their bicycle stolen should consider reporting it to police as soon as possible, as the Vancouver Police Department (VPD) announced a major seizure of stolen bikes today (September 11).
At a news conference today, VPD Sgt. Aaron Roed stated that after patrol officers in the Downtown Eastside arrested an individual in the 800 block of Powell Street (unrelated to the stolen property) on August 29, information from that arrest led them to a storage facility on the same block.
During the investigation at the facility, they discovered several storage lockers that were filled with bicycles that were determined to be stolen.
Police recovered 148 stolen bicycles, electric bikes, and scooters, with a total value exceeding $100,000.
Sgt. Roed said that in his 19 years with the VPD, he has never seen a seizure of this magnitude for bicycles.
In relation to the seized property, officers arrested three men from Vancouver and one man from Surrey. Although they were released without charges, police may recommend charges as the investigation continues on.
Police are consulting previous police reports and are working with 529 Garage in order to return the stolen bicycles to their rightful owners.
Anyone who has not reported their bicycle being stolen is asked to use an online crime reporting system or call the non-emergency VPD line at 604-717-3321. Sgt. Roed stated that details such as make and model, serial number, receipts, and photographs can help to identify bicycles when reporting stolen property. More information is available at the VPD website.
“Often, when we are dealing with reports of stolen bikes, we find that owners are unable to provide serial numbers or other identifying descriptions that could help us get their bike back to them,” VPD Sgt. Aaron Roed stated in a news release. “We encourage all bike owners to register their bicycles with the serial numbers, free-of-charge, in the 529 Garage registration and recovery program.”
According to the VPD, over 1,600 bicycles have been reported stolen in Vancouver since the start of the year. Sgt. Roed said that there has been a decrease since last year as within the same time period in 2018, 2,000 bikes had been stolen in the city.