Cops Bust Bike Thieves With Bait Bikes

Categories: FYI, bikes

If you're any kind thief, then you probably could care less whose bike you're stealing.

Unless of course, you're stealing the cops' ride.

The SFPD's new bait bike program has taken off in San Francisco where cops unload GPS-equip bikes around the city, tempting unassuming thieves into stealing them. Already, the cops have nabbed "several" bike thieves through the set-up.

Now, they're looking to ramp up the bait bike program, covering more neighborhoods in the city with more bikes.

See Also: San Francisco Gets Aggressive On Bike Theft

Officer Matt Friedman wouldn't reveal too many details about the bait bike program for obvious reasons, but he did say that bike thieves should really consider this a final warning.

"It's an opportunity to share with thieves who read Craigslist that any bike you are looking at stealing could be one of ours, and we will definitely come for one of ours," he tells SF Weekly. "We have GPS trackers and we will find you."

Friedman has printed up thousands of "bait bike" stickers, asking that San Francisco cyclists stick them on their bikes. The hope is that when thieves see those stickers, they'll think twice about stealing a bike that might be baiting them right into jail. The police bait bikes will also have the new stickers.

Friedman posted an ad on Craigslist earlier this week, announcing the new program and warning thieves to back off. Interestingly enough, the post was flagged for removal and deleted from the site by Thursday.

"That's silly -- who did I offend except for thieves?" Friedman says.

In 2012, more than 4,000 bikes were stolen in San Francisco, Friedman says. Many of those bikes, wind up on Craigslist, which has become the hub for blackmarket bike sales. "A lot of my day is spent trying to get peoples bikes back that they see on on Craigslist," he says.

"We need to clamp down on this -- we a re a very bike-friendly city and we want to give people the option to ride without the fear of having their bikes stolen," Friedman says. "But we aren't going to arrest our way out of this problem."

You can learn more about how to protect your bike via Safe Rides.




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11 comments
Powderfinger
Powderfinger

That's good news. Bike thefts are rampant in sf right now. Got mine stolen by the ferry bldg. A few months ago. Use kryptonite locks!

Thomas S. Pauloni
Thomas S. Pauloni

i really like those bait bike stickers but they need a better looking design and layout somthing thats designer and enhances the looks of the bike lolz

Thomas S. Pauloni
Thomas S. Pauloni

i havent read anywhere saying the bait bikes were locked up tho?

aliasetc
aliasetc topcommenter

Enforce the immigration laws, are you out of your mind? Then we wouldn't have scumbags like Shrimp Boy to read about.

PatKittle
PatKittle

Make criminals seriously work -- they should be doing trash clean-up & enough other restoration that they pay their own way. 

As it is now it's too expensive to incarcerate them so they get a wrist-slap & they're back on the street. That's no deterrent. Make them work!

Seriously enforce our immigration laws while we're at it.

Robert Daniels
Robert Daniels

Learn what entrapment is.Nobody made them steal and they would have stolen a normal citizens bike just as quickly.

Summer Huff
Summer Huff

Bait bike stickers - whoa Christopher Winters Garrison

Thomas S. Pauloni
Thomas S. Pauloni

isnt entrapement supposed to be "illegal" ? entrapment is a practice whereby a law enforcement agent induces a person to commit a criminal offense that the person would have otherwise been unlikely to commit - as in a sweet expensive bike sitting out somewhere and a kid who doesnt have a bike sees it and says hey nobodys around and he is a young kid whos parents are horrible and he dont really know its a bad thing to take a bike that seemingly has been abandoned and then he suffers the consequences becuz if that bike wasnt left there by police enticing that kid he may have never stolen it to begin with... just sayin its a scenario i can see happening.

Aziggs
Aziggs

*couldn't* care less. Come on, journalists.

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