Lock it or lose it


Warm weather and sunshine are back so you take the bike out of the garage and go for a ride. You stop at a corner store and lean your bike against the wall as you zip in for just a second. You end up walking home.

Ross Taylor, owner of Ross’ Bikes, knows the feeling of walking out of an establishment and finding nothing where there should be a bike.

“It’s just this stunned moment. I had all my gear on and I had to walk home. I felt like an idiot. It leaves a bitter taste in your mouth,” he said.

In a perfect world a bike left leaning against the wall of a coffee shop or at the side of a house would still be there minutes, hours or days later. It’s not a perfect world.

In 2011, there were 94 bikes reported stolen to Stratford police. The good news is that number fell in 2012 to 66. The majority of bikes are stolen from the core area but others are swiped from front porches, said Stratford police Insp. Sam Theocharis.

From January until May 13 there have been 14 bikes reported stolen, which is on pace with this time last year.

“I’ve never had a bike stolen that was locked,” Taylor noted.

That’s the key.

Taylor, police and Joel Curtis, co-owner of Totally Spoke’d, agree the only way to keep your bike from becoming temporary transportation for someone else, a source of income for thieves who strip them for parts or income for someone looking for a quick buck to buy drugs, is to lock it up.

“About this time of year is when it starts to peak,” Theocharis said.

The problem isn’t as bad as it has been in the past but that bitter taste lingers.

“People come in with the mindset they don’t want anything too good because it’s going to get stolen. The thieves win,” Curtis said.

From the Stratford Beacon Herald Saturday May 8, 2013 .. by Laura Cudworth

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