Nipawin dealing with summer bike thefts

NIPAWIN — Haley Tratch was one of several Nipawin residents who had their bicycles stolen this summer.

Her bike was taken from a fenced in backyard on the night between July 29 and 30.

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“It was by our garage in the back and they came through the backyard and stole it, and even the lights came on for the garage and that didn’t even deter them. They came right into our backyard and got it,” Tratch said. “They would have to really look for it because we do have big spruce trees there and it was behind our fence.”

Originally costing around $1,000, she used it for exercise and going out with her dog.

“It was an expensive bike, we were quite upset about it.”

Her bike was blue, with a black seat. It had the words “specialized” wrote onto the seat and down the side and a drink holder.

Tratch has her doubts that it would be the same colour by now.

“At this point I think it’s spray-painted, I kind of think it’s a lost cause,” she said.

She said in the future, she will be sticking her next bike in the garage.

“We just kind of assumed in our backyard it would be fine, didn’t think anything of it.”

According to the RMCP, this isn’t too out of the ordinary for the town this time of the year.

S/Sgt. Darren Wouters of the Nipawin detachment said that if he would come up with a rough estimate, he would say about 12 to 20 bicycles go missing in the detachment’s coverage area each summer.

“Throughout the summer, it is typically the amount of bicycle thefts we usually see,” Wouters said. “It may be a little higher than other years, but nothing extraordinary.”

He said the best thing someone can do to protect themselves is to lock their bicycle up.

While chain combination and key locks can be easy to use, Wouters said the more expensive U-locks can offer additional protection if someone is worried about it being targeted.

“People seize the moment of opportunity. They see a bike that’s not locked or lying on the front lawn they’re apt to take it,” he said. “If it’s stored in the backyard out of sight or it’s locked, the chances of it going missing are reduced.”

While bike locks offer additional protection, it will not guarantee someone won’t be a victim.

Wouters said another thing someone can do is write down the make, model and serial number of their bike once they purchase it.

“Even if you don’t have that information, report it to the police. But if you’re able to give us that serial number, then it helps us identify bikes a little easier,” Wouters said. “It may end up in Tisdale or another community and then we have the ability, if we have a serial number.”

He said finding each bike is a case-by-case basis, with some being found safe while others may be trashed and abandoned.

“Each case is different, we do find sometimes they’re taken for a joyride – driven four or five blocks and then we find it the next morning, or the owner may find it, in fact.”

If someone does believe their bike has been stolen, they can contact their local RCMP detachment. For Nipawin the number is 306-862-6270.

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