Oahu bicycle thefts on the rise

Oahu bicycle thefts on the rise

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - From downtown sidewalks to secure condominiums in Kakaako - bicycle thieves are making off like bandits.

"There are people that are making money off of this. They're getting creative and figuring out ways to break locks," said Daniel Alexander of the Hawaii Bicycling League.

Earlier this year, the Mayor's advisory committee on bicycling said bike theft on Oahu is increasing. The reports stretch across the urban core, from Chinatown to Waikiki.

"We're talking about theft of wheels.  We're talking about theft of seats, seat posts, handlebars. People either take the whole thing or they take parts of it," Bike Factory Hawaii's Mitch Parcel said.

Honolulu Police statistics show last year 615 bicycles were reported stolen on Oahu, with 173 of them from HPD's District 1 that encompasses downtown and Kakaako. Through July of this year the total of bikes reported stolen is already 491.  And 158 of them were taken from District 1.

In Kakaako a stack of discarded bike parts is spilling onto Coral Street.  The suspicion is that stolen bikes are chopped up, reassembled with different parts, and sold.

"If you're ever going to buy a used bike, either call the police, call on the registration, check the serial numbers.  Make sure it's not stolen," Parcel said.

To combat bike theft, the Bicycling League wants the city to require all condos to have enclosed storage areas. In the meantime, bike owners are urged to properly lock their bicycles using chains and U-locks.

"You lock the frame and you lock all your wheels, anything that can be removed, you've massively reduced the chance of anything or the bike getting stolen," Alexander said.

Parcel's store sells a lock called Pinhead that acts like a lug nut on automobile tires.

Alexander said HPD should start doing stings where decoy bikes outfitted with GPS are stolen, they lead cops to the criminal. The Hawaii Bicycling League offers classes on how to lock a bike. To find out more go to HBL.org.

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