Bikes are being stolen mostly in Victoria’s residential areas, new map shows

Bikes are being stolen mostly in Victoria's residential areas, new map shows

A new map shows most bike thefts are happening in Victoria’s residential areas as opposed to the downtown core.

Jamie Wellbourn works for a delivery company via his bike, and although his hasn’t been stolen, he’s had a couple of close calls.

This prompted Wellbourn to go on the Facebook page “Stolen Bike Avenger” and pull people’s stolen bike reports. Then, he tallied them together and put them on a map.

“People assume that everything is going to get stolen downtown, but there is only actually three stolen downtown since Oct. 1,” said Wellbourn.

He adds that it’s just a small sample size, but 35 bikes stolen in October — including the three downtown — shows a pattern.

The City of Victoria’s new bike valet service, which opened last year, allows people to safely park their bikes in a secured area for free.

Victoria’s assistant director of engineering Ross Kenny is happy to see downtown theft numbers are going down.

“It’s difficult to say whether or not it directly relates to loss of thefts or not,” added Kenny, “but what we know is that through a survey we did in 2022, 76 per cent of people that responded said they ride downtown more frequently because the valet is available.”

Adam Crupper from Capital Bike is praising the city for lowering bike thefts downtown but told CHEK News more needs to be done.

“Property owners and property management companies need to adapt. They need to realize that greater proportions of people are biking now,” said Kenny.

“Buildings need to change to actually have secured enclosures.”

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