Edmonton police are warning cyclists to keep an eye on their wheels as bike thefts rise dramatically.
It’s an expensive frustration for many cyclists in the city, like Farlee Magee, who has had five of his bikes stolen in the past four years —even though he locked them up.
"I locked the front up, but the guy took a wrench and left the wheel and took the rest of the bike," he told CBC News.
"I could see him running down the street with it on his shoulder. "
The incidents have changed the way he parks his bike.
"Pay for a good lock," he said.
"And a cable that goes through both wheels and around something they can't lift it up over. "
In the past year alone, bike thefts have jumped 30 percent in Edmonton, according to police.
Const. Shawn Wruth agreed that the best way to prevent thefts is invest in a high-quality lock that is difficult to get around.
"People are buying high-quality bicycles, whether it is $1,000, $2,000, $3,000 bikes, and attaching it with a $5 cable lock," said Wruth told a news conference.
"This is essentially a bike thief’s dream. A cable lock can be cut within 25 to 30 seconds — really quick."
Wurth said it isn’t just about how you lock up your bike, but where; he recommends high-traffic areas that are well lit.
Typically, bikes are stolen for transportation, but sometimes end up being chopped up for parts or sold online.
Even when the bikes do so up for sale, the chance of recovering them are generally very low, according to Wruth.
"We can do checks on Kijiji, maybe even see that bicycle. But even if we further investigate and confirm that bike looks just like it, without the serial number we can't just take bicycles away from people," he said.
"It can easily be the same make and model that someone else bought. "