Bike theft reports down nearly 35% in Anchorage this year

Channel 2 Morning Edition (6 a.m.)
Updated: Jul. 15, 2021 at 7:00 AM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - While bicycle theft has been a problem for many years in the city, the Anchorage Police Department reports that stolen bike reports are down almost 35% in Anchorage when compared to this time in 2020.

From January to June 2020, the department reported 244 total bikes stolen with 33 recovered. In 2021, police department data show 160 total bikes stolen and 19 recovered for those same months.

The department noted that reports of bicycle thefts spike during summer months.

During the summer, School Resource Officer Rich Sargent is one of the Anchorage officers who does bike patrols along the trails. He said they will sometimes find abandoned bikes on the trail. He said some are stolen, and some are abandoned and not reported stolen, making it more important to report a missing bike.

Sargent said the best ways to deter bike theft are the obvious ones: get a good lock and try to keep a bike behind locked doors when not in use.

In the event that a bicycle is stolen, Sargent said the reports usually come in two forms: reports that include suspect information and reports that don’t.

“The most important thing in both instances is that you have the information about your bike,” Sargent said. “When you get your bike, when you purchase your bike, take a picture of your bike. Take a picture of your serial number, make sure you have the make and model.”

That information makes a world of difference in getting a stolen bike back, he said. Most serial numbers can be found on the underside of a bicycle. He pointed out that some are found on stickers that are easily removed, and he recommends making some sort of permanent mark.

Sargent said the stolen bikes that are most likely found are the ones that are easy to pick out. He said cyclists should do something to give their bike a personal touch. He recommends things like stickers, painting certain parts, changing the colors of the pedals, or anything else that makes the bike more uniquely identifiable.

In the event of any sort of stolen property, Sargent said one should report it by either calling 311 or by filing an online police report.

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