They have this in BC and have good results.
Six months after Victoria police launched what they called the first "bait bike" program in North America, the number of bike thefts in the city has dropped 19 per cent.
That translates into 84 fewer swiped bikes between March 1 and Aug. 31, compared to the same period in 2005. It has also left police -- who admit they weren't sure how successful the program was going to be -- "very happy" with the results.
"We knew we were going to make some meaningful changes, but when you see a change overall of 19 per cent, that is significant," said John Arnold, the volunteer project manager for Victoria police's anti-bike theft program.
"I think that's very encouraging."
Police made headlines in March when they announced they would begin planting specially equipped bikes on the streets and use on-board global positioning systems to track and catch thieves in the act. They won't say how many there are, preferring to warn that any bike, anywhere, could be rigged.
The program was the most high-profile component of the larger Protect Your Bike campaign, designed to curb the approximately 60 local bike thefts a month that add up to about $500,000 worth of stolen equipment a year.
"We're quite happy with the way things have gone so far, our 2006 anti bike theft campaign appears to have been very effective," said acting Insp. Les Sylven.
Three of the worst areas in the city experienced significant decreases in bike theft, say police. Some 28 per cent fewer bikes were stolen in the downtown core, along with 37 per cent fewer in Fairfield and 50 per cent fewer in Fernwood.
However, areas such as James Bay, Burnside and Esquimalt experienced no decrease. Some actually saw levels rise.
"What we've taken from that is obviously an area where we need to now direct our resources," said Sylven.
The bait bike program is modelled after the provincewide bait car program, in which cars rigged with cameras catch thefts in progress. In Victoria, the bait car program cut the number of stolen vehicles 33.1 per cent -- from 638 to 427 -- between April 2005 and 2006, compared to the same period the previous year, say police.
Most of the bike thefts in Victoria are by drug addicts hoping to get quick cash for a fix, said Sgt. Keith Lewis, the Victoria police bait bike/car liaison.
Police are planning a city-wide safety audit this month to remind riders to use quality locks and record the serial numbers of their bikes.
Consumers appear to be getting the message, and are buying the more sturdy u-style locks instead of the less secure cable locks, said Bill Fry, manager at Riders Cycles Ltd. "I think it's gaining awareness," he said. "People are being more educated in the locks they are buying.
"It seems to be getting better."
© Times Colonist (Victoria) 2006