Bicycle thieves strike in Park City | ParkRecord.com
by Jay Hamburger
THE PARK RECORD

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Bicycle thieves strike in Park City

Cases reported in Old Town and elsewhere

Thieves targeting bicycles struck Park City last week as a string of cases, some of them in Old Town, were reported to the Park City Police Department.

Department logs provided general information about the thefts and details were not immediately available from the police. Bicycle thefts are occasionally reported in Park City, but it is unusual for there to be a series of cases like those reported last week.

The department indicated there were at least five cases starting on Wednesday, Aug. 2 and ending on Saturday, Aug. 5. It was a busy three-day stretch in Park City as preparations for the Park City Kimball Arts Festival were underway followed by the first two days of the festival itself. It was not immediately known whether the victims were Park City residents or visitors.

The cases included:

  • on Thursday, Aug. 3 at 8:59 p.m., two mountain bikes were reported stolen from somewhere along Woodside Avenue. They were in a storage unit inside a garage at the time they disappeared, the police were told.
  • on Wednesday, Aug. 2 at 12:06 p.m., a report of a bicycle, apparently made by Cannondale, was filed along Park Avenue. The police were told the thief of thieves cut through a lock to get to the bicycle, which was in an underground garage.

    Other reports were filed by people on Woodside Avenue, Kearns Boulevard and Empire Avenue. The victim on Empire Avenue told the police the bicycle was taken while the owner was at work. The person on Kearns Boulevard indicated the bicycle that was taken belonged to a daughter. The addresses of the cases were not available by Tuesday morning.

    The Police Department had not provided details about the estimated dollar loss by Tuesday morning. Bicycle thefts in Park City sometimes quickly rise in dollar value as numerous people who live in the community or visit own equipment that reaches into the thousands of dollars. Cannondale, the apparent manufacturer in the Aug. 2 case on Park Avenue, is a well-regarded bicycling company, as an example.

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    The Police Department has long said many thieves sell the stolen bicycles on the black market. In some cases, the police say the thieves want the bicycles for personal use. The Police Department has for years recommended bicycle owners take steps to secure the equipment. Bicycles should not be left unlocked in public places or outside the owner's residence, the police say. They should also not be left unsecured in vehicles, they say.

    The leader of the Mountain Trails Foundation, which advocates on behalf of bicyclists and other trail users, was not aware of the cases by Monday morning. Charlie Sturgis, who is the not-for-profit organization's executive director, said Park City is a "casual" place known for people who sometimes keep garage doors open and homes unlocked. The typical bicycle in Park City is worth more than $1,000, Sturgis estimated.

    "You're going to get good bikes. You're not going to get a $500 piece of junk," Sturgis said, providing his description of the mindset of a bicycle thief.

    Sturgis said locks are an important deterrent to bicycle thefts. He suggested bicycles be kept locked to a large, immovable object even when they are in a garage. Sturgis said he locks a bicycle to a recreational vehicle in his garage.

    "Keep it locked unless you're riding it," Sturgis said.

    He said there have been rashes of bicycle thefts in the past in Park City that typically ended within a few weeks.

    Anybody with information about the thefts may contact the Police Department at 615-5500.