Bicycle thefts remain rampant in SLO, though cases decreasing

October 15, 2021


A total of 143 bike thefts have been reported in the city of San Luis Obispo thus far in 2021. [Mustang News]

While bike thefts remain rampant in the city, the number of bicycles stolen over the past couple years is decreasing. In 2020, the San Luis Obispo Police Department received 223 bike theft reports. Police received 285 bike theft reports in 2019.

Police have recovered 23 stolen bicycles this year. Officers recovered 29 stolen bikes in 2020 and 43 in 2019.

Thieves target both bicycles and bike parts, as well as locked and unlocked bikes. They often steal parts from bicycles that are locked.

Many of the thefts occur on and around the Cal Poly campus. Since Cal Poly students returned to campus in August, police have received 39 reports of bike thefts, including one stolen tire. Five of the 39 bikes have been recovered.

The Cal Poly Police Department has yet to provide figures for recent bike thefts that have occurred on campus. It is unclear whether on-campus thefts of bicycles and bike parts is increasing or decreasing.

Many bicycles stolen on campus are sold online on sites like Craigslist, taken to swap meets or brought out of SLO County, Cal Poly police say.

Also, it is not uncommon for stolen bikes to be brought to local bike shops, said Sam Coyle, a worker at Cambria Bicycle Outfitters.

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I thought you people were against the government intruding into your freedoms. You want the government to keep your bike from being stolen. But when the government suggests getting a vaccine to protect yourself and others you won’t do it. Strange.

The bike thefts are out of control.

An I-Tag would be helpful.

It seems like a voluntary low-cost registration with basic info about the bike, a photo, a picture of the owner, and an identifying mark inscribed somewhere not readily noticeable on the bike, would got a long way to helping recover these bikes. But the city claimed it could not do this for various reasons.

My $2,000 dollar bike was stolen last year and the SLOPD wouldn’t even take a report. I dropped my truck off last week at the shop @ 7am Weds and as I was walking home up Higuera Street a homeless man demanded to know what time it was. As I walked past, and faster, he told to slow down so he could talk to me. I ended up running with him chasing me and yelling that he was going to f’g cut my head off. I called the SLOPD. They would not respond, basically “tell us something we don’t know”. The criminals are free to steal and they are free to chase and threaten to kill you. Defund the police, not because they are doing something, because they are doing nothing. I don’t go downtown and I drive everywhere, no walking, no bicycling, and guess what, no shopping. And I have my Amazon purchases sent to my work so SLO gets no tax revenue.

” that he was going to f’g cut my head off. I called the SLOPD. They would not respond, basically “tell us something we don’t know”. ”

Finish your story, he had no weapon and you gave him your 2k bike.

I call bullshit, a felony that never happened. I have lived here for decades, the police always respond to threats of decapitation + felony theft.

I hear you, I know from experience what you are saying.

Arm yourself, with something, not necessarily a firearm (unless you get training and get your mind right with it). NOTE: The police have “no duty to protect” per SCOTUS. Look it up. In all fairness, the cops can’t be everywhere, they are not supposed to be body guards. They do the best they can with the resources allotted to them.

Place a $1500 bike at a location these thefts are occurring and when the bike is stolen swoop in and arrest the thief for a felony. When several of these asshole thieves go to jail and stay there the thefts will at least slow down considerably especially if we publish their pictures for public shaming.

Great idea! Especially the public shaming part, it’s time we start to re-stigmatize and add consequences to those who commit anti social behavior.

You think the police care? Umm OK.

Dream on. These thefts are de facto legal, in SF they call it “hunter/gatherer” culture, Heidi’s SLO, she’s still running the show just trying to stay below the FBI’s corruption radar, isn’t far behind and may be trying to be ahead. The police have no reason to waste time on this type of operation when the thieves will not even spend the night of their arrest in jail. If the SLOPD won’t respond to a homeless person chasing me because I walk by and won’t talk to him bicycle thefts will mot be responded to. The homeless now own this town and believe me they know it. Paso and Atascadero somehow keep them in check but SLO is Mad Max country, open lawlessness and no law enforcement.

Maybe institute bicycle licensing. Coupled with Grand theft felony charges since these bikes are worth over $950.

Maybe then we could pay for the bike lanes we’re adding everywhere. Sounds like PD spends a lot of time and expense running down bike thieves. License fees would internalize the costs of “biking” on the central coast. We spend a lot of dough facilitating biking in our county. It is time bicyclists directly help to offset these costs. This is just one example of the need.

Maybe since it appears a large majority of the theifs involve Cal Poly students, Cal Poly could help out with requiring all bikes on campus to be registered and licensed through them, then they would have the information for the police if one is stolen.

Bell curves are greats for stats, but are not appropriate for applying the law. Laws should apply to all of us equally.

Besides why give the Cal Poly Foundation more money. Give the dough to the City to cover the extra paint for bike paths and “Share the Road” signs.

Cal Poly is always free to kick offending students out of school.

Perhaps the registration and licensing could be free, just a requirement for a bike to be on campus.

Good idea. My daughter had to license her bike years ago while attending a UC. I’m surprised, if Poly isn’t already doing this. If not they should.

Doesn’t matter if the police don’t care, and they don’t.

More bureaucracy is not the answer.

Less bureaucracy and less criminal prosecution appears not to be the answer either, I suppose the answer may not be more or less but may need to include the right bureaucracy.