Slave Lake, Alta. - With the snow finally melted and the weather beginning to improve, many residents in Slave Lake are once again using their bikes to get around. Unfortunately, these bikes are easy targets for those committing crimes around town. Over the last few weeks, the Slave Lake RCMP have noticed a sharp increase in the number of reported bike thefts. Additionally, social media posts seem to indicate many more bikes are being stolen and not reported.
"There is often a misconception that only valuable bikes or well conditioned bikes get stolen" says Staff Sergeant John Spaans of the Slave Lake RCMP "However, this is certainly not always the case. All bikes are a potential target. Our hope is to provide residents with tips on how to avoid victimization and reduce instances of property crime.".
Here are some helpful tips on how to safeguard your bike:
1. Use a Stiff, Reliable Lock: Any lock is better than no lock; however, investing in a rigid U-lock or D-lock makes it more difficult to cut or pick. Bike theft is a crime of opportunity and increasing the time it takes to steal the bike may deter a suspect from committing the crime.
2. Store your bike indoors: While this may not always be feasible, the best means of avoiding theft is to keep your property out of sight.
3. Lock your bike at while home: Most bike thefts occur at the bike the owner's residence. If you are unable to park inside be sure to lock your bike, even if it is in you own backyard.
4. Move your bike regularity: If a potential thief sees your bike in the same place every day, he or she will have a much better idea of when and how to steal it. By parking in different places, it will be more difficult for someone to know it is unattended.
5. No matter what, lock your bike: Even if you are leaving your bike unattended for a short period of time, or it's parked in a high traffic area, lock your bike. Don't forget to lock the bike to something solid and attached to the ground such as a bike rack, sign post or fence post.
Should anyone have questions on how to safeguard themselves and avoid becoming the victim of a property crime, please contact the Slave Lake RCMP at (780) 849-3999.