OAKLAND – Bike thefts at BART stations spiked dramatically this summer, according to the latest BART Quarterly Report, as thieves have targeted vulnerable cable lock devices.
There were 243 bike thefts from July to September, up 67 percent from the previous quarter, according the report. Through September of this year, 719 bikes were stolen, with 129 of those thefts occurring at BART stations in Oakland.
Ken Dam, BART’s crime analyst, estimated that about 80 percent of the bikes stolen were using cable locks.
“We take every approach that we can to help prevent bicycle theft,” Dam said.
BART Police have tried to raise public awareness about the advantages of heavier and stronger U-Locks. Patrol officers who see bikes left with cable locks hang educational tags on them advising owners to buy the more effective device.
BART is also working on implanting its Bike Parking Capital Plan, which includes creating 316 new shared-use lockers and three new bike stations at the Civic Center, MacArthur and 19th Street stations.
San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, and San Leandro Police Departments worked with BART to share information. With the data gathered, police have found that some thieves have traveled great distances to steal bicycles. Using statistical analysis, BART police have set up undercover stings that have led to several arrests.
BART recommends that owners record their bike’s serial number in case it’s stolen. The East Bay Bicycle Coalition also advises bicyclists to not lock their bikes in the same place every day, select visible locations, and use two U-Locks.
BART is also studying efforts by transit systems in other cities, looking for anti-theft tactics to implement next year.
Of the 129 bikes stolen from BART station in Oakland, MacArthur station had 38, Lake Merritt recorded 21, 19th Station had 20, West Oakland had 17, Fruitvale had 16, Rockridge had 7, 12th Station had 6, and Coliseum had 4.
Dublin/Pleasanton station had the highest number of bike thefts, with 52.