Bicycle thefts on the rise in Cedar Rapids

CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) -- Hundreds of people every year are getting their bicycles stolen in Cedar Rapids but some experts say there are steps cyclists can take to deter a criminal from snatching up their ride.

Bicycle in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on September 9, 2019.

At "The Bike Shop" in Cedar Rapids, owner Michael Dorval reports he gets inquiries from customers "every single day" about what they can do to deter a thief from stealing their bicycle.

Cedar Rapids Police records obtained by the I9 investigative team through an Iowa open records request reveal the questions are not without merit. Since 2017, nearly 1,000 bicycles have been reported stolen in the City of Five Seasons.

Authorities anticipate this year alone around 380 bicycles will be stolen in all, an 11% increase from 2018.

Dorval recommends consumers invest either a chain link lock or u-lock to give them the best shot at not becoming the latest statistic.

Dorval says a chain-link lock is useful because it is designed to be difficult to pick or be cut.

"It's hard to hold the links to cut on it," said Dorval.

Dorval says when lock shopping avoid those with a braided cable as he thinks they are to easy to cut through. Another good idea is to take a piece of the bicycle, like a wheel or the seat, with you after you lock it up as it makes it less desirable.

Dorval says chain link and u-locks run around $10 to $15.

Dorval stresses at the end of the day bicycle locks are a deterrent but if a criminal is determined enough they will likely be able to take your bike.

Cedar Rapids police recommend bicycle owners register their bikes with the city.