Victoria non-profit’s ‘irreplaceable’ cargo bike stolen in theft caught on video

Photo: Capital Bike
A thief is seen on video stealing an electric cargo bike from Capital Bike in Victoria. June 20, 2023.

A brazen early-morning theft in Victoria caught on video shows a thief grinding away at locks before making off with a local non-profit’s electric cargo bike.

Capital Bike‘s executive director Adam Krupper says surveillance cameras captured an up-close look at a thief pulling out an angle grinder and then a wrench to break the bike free from a bike rack.

The incident happened just after 5 a.m. Tuesday in the 1000-block of Hillside Avenue, and Krupper calls it a “devastating” loss.

“The city installed two bike racks outside our office a couple of years ago. We left it overnight. We’re like, ‘It’ll be fine,'” he laughed. “We had not only one but two locks. And not cheap locks. These were expensive, premium, $200 locks.”

Then, after 10 minutes of trying, the thief makes off with the bike, tossing the bike they arrived with on the sidewalk in the striking video footage sent to CHEK News.

“Our neighbour who runs a computer store, he has video cameras set up outside facing the street. He actually recorded the thief cutting the locks, breaking the locks and stealing the bike,” said Krupper in an interview.

He says the bike purchased in 2018 cost $7,500. Just last month, the organization converted it to an e-bike, which cost another $2,500.

“It’s a $10,000 bike,” said Krupper.

“I’d say it has about 500 km on it. It’s great for carrying stuff to events. We run GoByBike week, so we deliver prizes with the bike, we pick up prizes. It’s our everything bike.”

He recalls the moments he realized the bike was gone, which is a huge loss for the non-profit because, if they don’t get it back, they don’t have the funds to buy a new one.

“I showed up at 8 a.m. and saw the bike was missing. That was weird, but five other people are working in the office, so I thought maybe someone borrowed it. And then people started showing up, and I’m like, ‘Where’s the bike?'” he said.

“There’s a zero per cent chance of us being able to replace this bike. It’s impossible for us to replace the bike. Impossible. We can’t afford to replace items like this.”

The bike frame is green with a large wooden box attached to it. The box is fully branded in Capital Bike’s logo and colours, blue and light blue, on the sides and front.

During the theft, the thief was wearing a backpack, a dark jacket and a hoodie.

Krupper says Victoria police are aware of the theft, and he’s asking anyone who sees the bike or has information about its whereabouts to call VicPD’s non-emergency line at 250-995-7654.

“To lose a bike like our cargo bike, it’s our vehicle. It’s our organization’s vehicle. It’s something that, for us, is irreplaceable. Not just the work we put into it but financially,” he added.

“It’s devastating.”

(This bike was stolen from a bike rack outside Capital Bike’s Hillside Avenue office on Tuesday, June 20, 2023. Photo: Capital Bike)

Ethan Morneau

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