Bike thefts on the rise in the Cedar Valley - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Bike thefts on the rise in the Cedar Valley

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You see them on almost every corner, tied up to poles or bike racks everywhere.

Now, police in the Cedar Valley are saying if you don't keep an eye on your bicycles, they may end up stolen.

133 bicycles in Waterloo and Cedar Falls have been stolen all year, and many of the thefts have happened in the last couple months, according to police.

Police say this is the highest volume of bike thefts in the shortest amount of time they can recall seeing in years.

They say it's so bad, they're finding many thieves are just sawing bike locks right off the bikes.

Lt. Kurt Schreiber with the Cedar Falls Police Department showed KWWL a shed where more than 40 recovered stolen bikes are stored.

He says many more bikes in the area have been stolen, but many of them are never recovered.

"If someone reports an expensive bike stolen, those aren't abandoned down the street, they're usually sold," he said.

And when someone loses a bike, they may want to buy another one.

Russ Clarke, owner of Europe Cycle and Ski, says he's heard it all.

"(People will say) I left for five minutes to get a drink and I came back and my bike was gone," said Clark.

Clarke says it isn't a good feeling to sell someone a bike who just had theirs stolen, that's why he offers this bit of advice: 

"If you have to leave your bike out, put a lock on it. Better yet, put two locks on it, because time is a critical factor. If you have two locks, that's much more time and effort for someone to take it."

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