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News Release
"Bait Bike" Program Aims to Curb Bicycle Theft in Corvallis - 08/28/18

For the past several years, the Corvallis Police Department Community Livability Unit has been taking steps to curb the growing bicycle theft epidemic with a large-scale education, prevention, and enforcement initiative.  Efforts began in 2015 when CPD partnered with 529 Garage, a cloud based bicycle registration service, to encourage cyclists to register their bicycles.  Bicycle registration is a critical component that enables police to return recovered bicycles to their rightful owners.

Bicycle theft prevention efforts recently expanded with the use of “Bait Bicycles” throughout the city.  “Bait bicycles are a proactive form of law enforcement.” said Officer Trevor Anderson, a member of the police department’s Community Livability Unit.  “Essentially, a bait bicycle is a trackable bike.  The police department knows when it’s stolen and can catch the thief in the act”.

The program began in 2017, but is in the process of expanding due to the program’s success.  Since January of this year, ten people have been arrested for theft as a result of bait bicycle deployment.  “It’s nearly impossible to catch thieves in the act.” said Anderson, “Bait bicycles give us that ability.  Proactive enforcement is a critical part of crime reduction, when used in conjunction with other prevention and education efforts.  If a thief thinks they’ll get caught in the act, maybe it’ll make them think twice before stealing that bicycle”.  The police department got the idea for bait bicycles from other successful programs in Oregon and throughout the country, where cities have seen a dramatic decline in theft after initiating similar programs.

Corvallis Police receive reports of nearly 300 bicycles stolen every year, with a total loss of almost a quarter million dollars on average.  Those numbers don’t include thefts on OSU campus or the many thefts that go unreported to police.

For more information or questions about bicycle theft prevention efforts, and for media requests, contact ility@corvallisoregon.gov">community.livability@corvallisoregon.gov