Bicycle thieves in PB aren't getting very far thanks to bait bi - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Bicycle thieves in PB aren't getting very far thanks to bait bike project

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SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) — The wheels are turning on a new project to catch bike thieves. 

San Diego Police are using bait bikes to lure in criminals and the project has been a big hit in Pacific Beach. 

"I speak for PB and all beach communities how fed up we are with bike thefts," said one resident. 

Pacific beach residents have long been fed up with a big bike theft problem in their neighborhood. 

One resident noted having six bike stolen worth $2,000 – she said all had been locked up.  

San Diego Police are listening and have been doing something about the problem.  

For the past 3 years, they have been putting GPS devices on bait bikes and placing them throughout PB. If the bike is stolen, police can easily track it down and make an arrest. 

"Using the alert system, police are able to track thieves within minutes of an outfitted bike being stolen," said the SDPD's Joshua Clabough. 

In 2016, 288 bikes were reported stolen from the PB area alone. 

"In San Diego County, close to 3,000 bike are stolen every year and about half are in the City of San Diego - and beach communities are hit the hardest," said Councilmember Lori Zapf. 

Zapf feels passionately about ending bike thefts in her district. Her office donated $3,000 to the Pacific Beach bait bike program. 

The program started in 2014, lost funding in 2016 and recently started up again. 

The program is funded by the District 2 community projects, programs and services fund. 

To date, 109 arrests have been made. 

"How many programs have an almost 100 percent prosecution rate? That's amazing," said Zapf. 

Zapf has a warning to bike thieves. 

"If there's any bike thieves out there – beware," she said. "There are several of these bait bikes - and you have no idea what they look like. And if you take one of them there is a 100 percent chance you will be arrested, prosecuted and end up in jail." 

Police recommend using a u-lock for bike storage as it is the hardest for thieves to cut.

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