50 bikes recovered, 17 arrests made in police operation
Calgary police say downtown and Beltline saw post-flood spike in bicycle thefts
Calgary police have recovered more than 50 stolen bikes and laid charges against 17 suspects.
The arrests came after a two-month investigation involving several police units that focused on the downtown core and the Beltline district.
Those areas saw a spike in the number of bike thefts in the weeks after the June flood, police said. The recovered bicycles range in value but some were worth as much as $5,000.
There are about 250 bikes in police storage that have been found all over the city but not yet claimed by their owners.
Rhett Freiter was hoping for good news after hearing that Calgary police found dozens of stolen bikes taken from downtown.
He got a bike for his 12th birthday in July, but it was stolen in September when he went for lunch with his dad on Stephen Avenue.
Report stolen bikes, say police
Rhett's parents filed a police report but his bike doesn't appear to be among those recovered so far.
"We've posted many ads, a police report — we've found nothing yet," he said.
Police are encouraging people who think their bike was stolen to call 403-266-1234 to see if it has been recovered.
Unclaimed bikes are kept for 30 days before going to auction, being donated or getting recycled or destroyed.
Some in the bike community say theft in Calgary is becoming more common.
"People are frustrated that they're seeing a lot of bikes stolen," said Dale Calkins of Bike Calgary. "We see that on social media people say, 'My bike's been stolen, help me out.'"
And sometimes a plea on social media works out — a Calgary woman says she quickly got her stolen bicycle back thanks to social media and a couple of Good Samaritans in September.