A new community crime initiative from the Lethbridge Police Service is focusing on targeting bike thieves.
The Property Crimes Unit tried out an investigative technique involving a bait bike, which was left securely locked to a street sign in the downtown core earlier this week. Within the first 15 minutes of the bike being unattended, officers saw a man steal the bike and run away. The man was arrested without incident just a short ways away from the scene and was charged with theft.
50 year old Robert Leon Crow Eagle, of Lethbridge, was released from custody and is scheduled to appear in court August 16.
Bait bikes have been successfully used in the past and police plan to continue using them throughout the summer, in hopes to deter future bike thefts.
The city saw a four percent decrease in bike theft in 2021 from 2020. A total of 512 bikes were stolen, with 123 recovered. This year, 95 bikes have been reported as stolen, with 20 recovered so far.
Police are encouraging residents to register their bikes with Bike Index. A free program launched back in 2020, Bike Index can help deter theft, and if police recover a registered bike that was lost or stolen, it can be returned to the owner as quickly as possible. Information on the Bike Index is available at the LPS website at https://www.lethbridgepolice.