As part of Bike to Work Week, Aaron Wiebe won a brand new Trek Marlin 5 mountain bike.
Fresh off his win of the Golden Ticket grand prize draw, KTW met Wiebe at City Hall last week to take his photo with the shiny new bicycle.
But by Sunday, the bike was gone — stolen from his backyard in Brocklehurst.
“I’m usually pretty good at keeping my bikes in a safe place. I’ve never had a bike stolen from my backyard before, so I thought it was safe,” he said.
Wiebe, a Kamloops cyclist for six years, said his backyard is enclosed and private and someone was at home at the time, so his bike wasn’t locked up.
“It’s completely out of sight, so someone either would have watched me ride into my backyard or gone in there looking for bicycles,” he said.
Wiebe called the RCMP as soon as he noticed his bike, valued at $669, had gone missing.
Fortunately for him, he had taken photos of the bike and its serial number and registered it on 529 Garage, a bike recovery service used by the RCMP.
With the help of Facebook groups Brock Watch and Stolen Bikes Kamloops, Wiebe said the bike has been spotted around town a couple of times, each time reported to the RCMP, but has not yet been recovered.
It wasn’t just his bike stolen, either. The bike he was borrowing was also stolen and Wiebe said the total value of items stolen was about $3,000.
As a result, Wiebe said he filed a home insurance claim and will pay the deductible to cover some of the loss.
He’s likely not the only one missing a bike. Over a 38-day period beginning in June 2018, the Kamloops RCMP said 64 bicycles worth $98,000 were stolen in the city — and half of them were locked up at the time.
Nonetheless, Wiebe recommends a good lock — especially from companies that offer compensation should their lock be broken or circumvented during a theft, such as Kryptonite’s anti-theft protection offer, an optional service.
RCMP THEFT-PREVENTION TIPS
• Bring your bike inside or lock it inside a garage at night;
• Always use a bike lock. While cable locks are easily cut with wire cutters, they have their place alongside a metal U-lock;
• Also lock your wheels and saddle, since quick releases and hex bolts are no match for thieves who are after components;
• Replace regular screws with security skewers that require a special key because most parts can be removed with a screwdriver or Allen wrench;
• When travelling with your bike, ask to bring it inside with you or use secure storage, if available;
• Register your bike using the 529 Garage app;
• Write down the serial number of your bike and keep a photo of it on file.
For more information, go online to project529.com.