PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN 6) — It likely took the thief who stole Gina Carlson’s bike less than a minute to use a saw to cut through a city-owned bicycle rack in Buckman neighborhood.
The blue rack, donned with stickers and spray paint, at the corner of Southeast 7th and Morrison sits outside a bar and several restaurants is known as a “staple rack.”
Carlson said her 2001 Trek “Lexa” S (Compact) bicycle was stolen sometime early Sunday morning. She left the bike overnight locked to the rack using a U-lock. She named her bike “Flora.”
Carlson said that she took a cab home after having a couple of drinks.
“When people see that a bike staple can be cut in half so easily and something so valuable and precious can be taken within just a few minutes, I think a lot of people deserve to be really worried,” Carlson said.
Diane Dulken, a spokesperson with the Portland Bureau of Transportation said there are more than 6,000 staple bike racks within the city.
“The sad truth is that bike theft is a crime of opportunity, so the concept is to reduce the opportunity,” Dulken said. She said the city is looking into ways of making the racks safer, but they need to balance the cost.
The Portland Police Bureau said bicycles that are found or seized are stored at their Property Room, which can hold about 550 bicycles. Each one that gets entered is tagged and entered into a bike database. Police said stolen or missing bikes must be reported within 30 days of the incident.
Most bicycle thefts occur in Central Precinct, which includes downtown, the Pearl District, Northwest District, Old Town and parts of Southeast. Most bikes are reported stolen on Saturdays, according to police. Police said cable locks usually are the easiest to break or cut so using a U-lock is recommended. In areas that are considered prone to bicycle theft, police suggest using a double U-lock.
Police encourage everyone to write down their bike serial number, which can be found on the underside of the cycle near the crank shaft. Other information for filing a police report include: make, model, color(s), gender, speeds and value.
The report a stolen bike, call 503.823.3333. To check to see if your bike is at in the PPB Property Room, call 503.823.2179.
Bryan Hance, the webmaster of Bike Index, an online registry for stolen bikes, has put up a post for Carlson.