Bike theft is up in Fresno's Tower District

July 31, 2012 12:00:00 AM PDT
Folks in Central Fresno's Tower District say they're fed up with theft.

This time the talk is about bicycles. These days bikes are everywhere. Local attorney Kendall Simsarian rides his to work and back on a daily basis. So imagine his surprise when it disappeared in broad daylight, while he was at a local hangout in the tower.

Simsarian said, "It was like that's my bike why is that guy riding off on it."

He tried to follow the would-be suspect, but couldn't keep up. Turns out he's not the only victim, just the latest.

According to this Facebook page, thefts are on the rise. Store owner Thomas Lamb stopped a thief in action.

"I come out, by that time he's cutting the lock," Lamb said. "I yelled at him, pushed him into the tree and he took off running."

Online, these neighbors are taking matters into their own hands. Some are talking about "bait bikes". Putting GPS on bicycles so you can track what happens to it if it disappears.

"I think bait bikes are a good way of handling the problem because once people know there's a consequence for stealing the bikes than they won't get stolen as much and the problem is not what happens if they get caught it's that they're not getting caught."

Fresno Police say they're aware of the problem. Larceny is up three percent from this time last year. But that statistic is for the entire southwest district, not just the tower. But the people who live here aren't keeping track, they're just watching each other's backs.

According to that Facebook page, there's an organized self-defense workshop here in the tower, this coming Saturday.

In the meantime, try to take your bicycle inside with you. If you can't do that, attach it to a permanent fixture with the wheel off.


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