(SAVANNAH) The number of bike thefts are going up in the Hostess City. Corporal Hillary Nielsen, Public Information Officer for Savannah-Chatham Metro Police, says 113 bicycles have been stolen since the beginning of the year, with 22 bike thefts reported in May alone. Preventing bike theft is easier than getting your bicycle back if it is stolen.
There are things you can do to help police recover a stolen bicycle, but they have to be done before a bike theft occurs. Corporal Nielsen says the first thing bike owners need to do is record the serial number of their bicycle. “Second best thing, take a picture of your bike. The serial number and a photograph are gonna help our officers to find that bike and then link it back to you.” said Nielsen, who adds, “So even if we don’t find it for a couple of months, we find a bike, we run the serial number, it comes back stolen, we can see that it belongs to you, and get in contact with you and return it. Without that information it makes it much more difficult to connect those two dots.” Nielsen said.
Securing bicycles to immovable objects is key to making sure they’re still there when you return. Nielsen says bike thieves can actually lift bikes off things like parking meters and bollards. Sometimes thieves aren’t after the whole bike, they’ll steal anything not tied down, like tires, seats, and even handlebars. “Locking it through both the wheels if your chain is long enough, along with the frame. So even if that means pairing a chain with a u-lock, that’s the way to go. You want your bike to be as secure as possible.” said Nielsen. She says she can’t stress enough how important it is to have more than generic information for police if your bike is stolen. “If they don’t have a lot of information, our investigators can’t do as much as quickly with the case. If we have surveillance footage or if they wrote down the serial number of if they have a picture of the bike, it equips our investigators with the information they need to work through that case quickly and successfully.” Nielsen said.
Hardeeville police are actually seeking people who are missing their bicycles. If you lost a bike, had one stolen or maybe misplaced it, it could be at the police station. Several bikes have been recovered. Police want to get them back to their rightful owners. Anyone missing a bike is urged to contact the Hardeeville Police Department and speak with Sergeant Jonah Jenkins. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (843)-784-2233. You will have to provide a positive description of the bicycle to claim it. Hardeeville police will accept emails and calls for the next couple of weeks. After that they will give the bicycles away.