Bike thieves target of Austin police initiative

APD receives big donation to help catch bike thieves.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It’s a problem plaguing cites across the country, thieves looking to steal bikes. Here in Austin, more and more bikes are being stolen.

Will West has lived in Austin for several decades, and loves his city. However, he’s been a victim to this crime over and over.

“Just purchased a bike, and wasn’t able to get inside the store and out fast enough with a lock before it got stolen,” he said.

In 2014, 1,412 bikes were stolen, up from 1,388 in 2013. And it’s not just cycles being snatched.

“There’s nothing more empty-feeling than seeing an empty shadow where your car once was,” said Royal Drinkwater. His car was stolen about a month ago, and he’s had to use a bike ever since.

The Austin Police Department has used bait bikes in the past, and even bait cars to catch thieves. Now the department is putting another bait bike on the street, worth $2,000. Anyone who tries to take that could face a felony charge. The high-valued bike was donated by a local shop.

Residents like West hope it will help put a stop to the seemingly endless cycle of bike thefts.

The department has not revealed which local bike shop made the donation. They also have not said whether this high-end bait bike has already been planted in the city.

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