String of bike thefts hits Naples nieghborhood

Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 18:44:29-04

Police in Naples say a bike thief - or thieves - are making the rounds in their city. Three bikes have been reported stolen since Friday in just one neighborhood.

The bikes - each worth between $450 to $600 - were stolen from all within several blocks of each other: one from a front porch on 4th Avenue North, one from a driveway on 7th Avenue North, and another bike was taken from an open garage on 7th Street North. None of the bikes were locked.

"There is a false sense of security when a homeowner may be home, but they're in a backyard, or they're inside eating lunch or dinner, and the garage door is open," said Lt. Seth Finman of the Naples Police Department.

Beth Brainard of the Naples Pathways Coalition, a nonprofit organization that promotes "walkable and bikeable communities,"  said a bicycle should be treated as if it were any other vehicle.

"Your bike is an object that has value, and you need to treat it as such, just as you would your car," Brainard said.

She recommends locking bicycles, even while they're parked at home.

"If your wheel isn't attached through the lock, they'll just remove the front wheel, take the rest of your bike and be off with it," Brainard said. "A wheel isn't that big of a thing to get."

Finman said there is a chance of recovering the stolen bikes, since thieves often use them as one-way transportation and then dump them, or try selling them to local pawn shops.