Nanaimo RCMP have arrested two men who tried to steal bicycles during separate incidents over the span of two days.
In both cases, the bikes that were stolen were part of the Nanaimo RCMP Bait Bike program – a program that is aimed at trapping thieves by using bicycles equipped with tracking, identification and other technologies, allowing officers to follow their movement.
On January 13, one of these bikes was deployed in downtown Nanaimo and police say that “within minutes,” officers observed that the bike had been stolen. Police mobilized, arresting 46-year-old Joshua Susee-Holmes, who was less than 100 yards from where it had been deployed.
Susee-Holmes was arrested for theft and police also found that he was in possession of a stolen cheque and debit card.
On January 15, the Bait Bike program operated successfully for the second time in just two days as officers observed the deployed bike was stolen in seven minutes. 45-year-old Leslie Winterburn was arrested while in possession of the bicycle. During the arrest, police also found he was in possession of several grams of suspected methamphetamine and fentanyl and faces two counts of Possession for the Purpose of Trafficking under the CDSA.
Many of the Bait bikes that are stolen are taken by individuals who are entrenched in the drug culture and property crime-related thefts. To have these persons held accountable for their crimes is a huge win for the citizens of Nanaimo. Additionally, it definitely makes criminals think twice before stealing another bike. said Constable Gary O’Brien of the Nanaimo RCMP.
Nanaimo RCMP are advising the public that their bait bikes “come in all sizes, shapes and colours” and could be deployed anywhere throughout the city.
For bicycle owners, police recommend always locking their bikes and ensuring it is registered at Project 529.
More information regarding the bike registry program can be found at https://project529.com/garage