Once you learn how to ride a bike, you never forget. It turns out that’s true if you have a bike stolen, too.
“I just went inside to take care of a few things. I came back out, it was gone,” said Warren Navarro of Sacramento.
“Oh yeah, it’s like the worst thing in the world,” said Frank French of Sacramento.
But now that tempting target for bike thieves, locked up alongside a row of other rides, could be a “bait bike.” That’s a plant that police can track to nab a would-be-thief.
“When we put the first bike out within two hours it was taken,” said Doug Morse, spokesperson for the Sacramento Police Department.
The bait bikes look just like any other bicycle out there. They were bought for the Sacramento Police Department by a coalition of Midtown business owners, coincidentally called the “Handle District.”
At the Edible Petal in Midtown, they hear stolen bike stories every day. But they’ve also seen how the bait bikes work, when one man came in wanting to inflate his tires.
“He was really excited that he could get air for his recently stolen bike. Right behind him I saw his face – a police cruiser pulled up, cuffed him and threw him in the cruiser,” said Edible Pedal owner John Boyer.
And it’s not just bait bikes hitting the street. Soon you’ll also be seeing signs, reminding thieves that bait bikes are in circulation, and the thieves may be stumbling into one bike trick that will really cost them.