British Columbia

Victoria Mayor Lisa Helps' bike dismantled for parts outside City Hall

Victoria's mayor, Lisa Helps, walked out of a council meeting at City Hall on Thursday night to find of half her bike missing.

Mayor walks out of council meeting to find bike tires and seat missing

Victoria's mayor Lisa Helps looks on as her bike is being repaired after thieves stole its tires and seat. (CBC/Idil Mussa)

Even if you hold the top job in the city, it doesn't mean you're safe from the watchful eyes of thieves.

Victoria's mayor, Lisa Helps, walked out of a council meeting at City Hall on Thursday night to find half her bike missing.

In a Facebook post, she said she was "a bit sad" to see thieves had stolen the seat and tires from her bike.

Helps said her bike was locked on a post outside an entrance to City Hall and she was surprised since her gear was bolted to the bike, which she thought would make it more difficult to remove.

In an interview Friday,she laughed off any idea that her bike was targeted. However, she did find it "ironic" since she recently announced Victoria is paying an international "dream team" to design a cycling network in Victoria.

"And two days later my tires go missing. It's a bit sad, but it's part of what happens, although I wish it wouldn't, as we see more and more people transition to biking."

Hundreds of people have responded to the mayor's Facebook post by sharing their own bike theft stories. Many suggested the idea of indoor bike lock-ups.

According to Victoria police, there were 335 reports of stolen bikes from January to June of this year. They launched a bike registry in July aimed at reuniting stolen bikes more easily with owners.

The mayor says she tried to register then, but was unable to do so, and it wouldn't have helped her since thieves left the frame of her bike intact.

Politicians and their stolen bikes

Helps isn't the only politician who's had her bike tampered with.

When a Toronto city councillor's bike was stolen, Mary-Margaret McMahon turned to social media to search for it. She used the hashtag #biketo and promised muffins as a reward for the "love of her life".

South of the border, a mayor in Seattle also had his bike stolen. Unfortunately, it wasn't even his. He borrowed his wife's bike to ride into work that day.

Over in Salt Lake City, another mayor found out his bike was stolen — right across the street from where he had spoken at a cycling conference.

With files from Idil Mussa


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