AUSTIN (KXAN) — A spike in bike thefts in one Central Austin neighborhood has Austin police warning homeowners. Police say the thieves are entering peoples garages and getting away with some expensive rides.
“They go to bed and they wake up and discovering their bicycles are gone,” said Austin Police Det. Ivonne McGuire.
That’s exactly what happened to Jason Hawrylo on Monday morning. He rides his bike to work everyday and even though he locked his $1,300 bike up to a fence, thieves still managed to steal it.
“After they undid the bracket at the top (of the fence), they were just able to slide (the lock) up and over,” Hawrylo explained. “It was so simple but it never crossed my mind when I had it locked up there.”
With the Shoal Creek Trail passing right through, it’s the perfect place to live for cyclists like Charlie Cerf. He owns four bikes, and they’re not cheap.
“My bikes probably costs $3,000-$4,000,” said Cerf. “This is a perfect neighborhood to ride.”
Austin Police say in the last five months there have been 22 bicycle thefts in the Allandale neighborhood.
Detectives say the thieves are looking for clues like bike racks on cars parked in the driveway. The thieves are then entering through garages and sheds before taking off with bikes that cost up to $5,000.
“It’s pretty depressing really. I mean, I love my bikes,” said Cerf. “It’s going to make me lock my bikes up a little tighter.”
APD is now stepping up their patrols in the area. They’re also telling homeowners to move their bike racks inside and turn on outdoor lights. Police also remind people that leaving garage doors open is an invitation for thieves.
Bicycle owners are encouraged to register their bike with APD and have the bicycle’s serial number in a database. You can register your bike here.