Over the weekend, thieves broke into local bike shop, Bay Area Bikes
, (2400 Broadway, Oakland) and stole 46 bicycles. Owner Glenda Barnhart wrote in an email that 15 of the bikes were "Brompton folding bikes, 20 Tern folding bikes, 2 electric bikes, and a cargo bike." The loss of the Brompton folding bikes was especially devastating for the small business, because they are the shop's biggest seller, retail for more than $1,200, and take four to six weeks to deliver.
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Barnhart noted that the Oakland Police Department was able to make a few arrests and recover six of the bikes so far, due to actions taken by observant community members. "In four separate circumstances, citizens saw something that wasn't right and called OPD," Barnhart said. "Lucky for us, OPD was able to quickly respond."
"We love living and making our living in Oakland, and the community is the reason why," she continued. "In addition, we were able to quickly provide Dropcam footage to OPD, which aided in identification and arrests within hours of the break-in."
Individual bike theft is also sadly an all-too-common problem in the Bay Area, especially at BART stations. According to a 2013 BART quarterly report, 151 bikes were stolen from Oakland stations alone, and 80 percent were using cable locks.
As a reminder, Bike East Bay
offers tips to prevent bike theft from happening, such as by registering
your bike's serial number, taking pictures of your bike, using two U-locks, and not leaving your bike outside all night.
Another bike theft resource is Project 529, which is a web service and iPhone app that offers registration and a kind of crowd-connected bike security. The folks behind Project 529 created a petition
asking eBay and Craigslist to require bike serial numbers in their ad listings. The org hopes to get 50,000 signatures by November.