Are There More Bike Thefts in Buffalo?

12:11 AM, Sep 5, 2013   |    comments
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More Reports of Bike Theft in Elmwood/Allentown Areas

Buffalo, NY -  Just as bikes are a common sight in some Buffalo neighborhoods, unfortunately there is another scene unfolding more often as a bike owner reports another stolen bike for the registry they keep at the Campus WheelWorks shop.

Actually it happened to Amy Audetat and her partner twice this summer. Most recently it occurred at an Elmwood Avenue restaurant. Amy says she was "actually checking on the bike. Looking over the roof top area to see my bike.  And between my last check and paying the bill...ten minutes maybe...gone."

That loss from bike theft can run up to thousands of dollars depending on the bike and how it is outfitted. And there have been 28 bikes listed as stolen with the bike shop during July and August. Campus Wheelworks owner Ethan Johnson says "People can spend as much as ten grand on a bike. And you know a lot of people assume bicycles are toys. But there are a big part of people's lives. They are people's transportation, people's recreation, people's livelihood. So it's something we take very seriously and we'd just like the city of Buffalo to take it seriously too."

City police spokesman Mike DeGeorge says there can obviously be an increase in bike theft in summer months. But he claims stats from the Erie County Crime Analysis unit actually show a five percent drop as compared to last year.

Some of the recovered bikes end up in police auctions. That frustrates Johnson who says one of his stolen bikes ended up there even after he filed a police report. Amy also filed a police report and she says the responding officer did try to look for it but had no luck.

Now Amy and others are buying what are called u-locks for about 45 dollars to secure the bike frame to a bike rack.  Johnson says "They're made out of a hardened steel. They're much stronger than any cable lock. Cable locks are relatively easy to cut for bike thieves."



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