There have been three reported bicycle thefts in Richmond Hill within the last two weeks, which is no surprise to the Richmond Hill Chief of Police Billy Reynolds.
He said it’s continued to be a problem around certain apartment complexes in the area, as well as the schools.
Here's a look at the most recent bike thefts, as reported to police:
On Sept. 14, while Officer Timothy Saia was on a routine bike patrol through Piercefield forest, a woman approached him to report her daughter’s new bike being stolen.
The woman, a Falcon Drive resident, said her daughter had ridden her new KO Mongoose freestyle bike to Richmond Hill Middle School and parked it on the bike rack, only to find it missing when school let out, the police report said.
Shortly after making the report, the woman called the station to say she thought she had located the bike, after she reportedly saw a boy riding a bike that looked just like her daughter’s.
When questioned, the boy told Saia he had bought the bike that day, for $20 from a man named "Slim," but had no further information. Saia gave the boy a property receipt and returned the bike to the owner.
Two more incidents were reported on Sept. 18.
The first complainant also came from a Falcon Drive resident, who reported to Officer Lee Rodriguez that her son’s bicycle had been stolen.
The woman said the Mongoose 27-inch black and yellow bike was stolen right off the front porch of her home. She had seen it on Sept. 18, at about 10:30 p.m., but found it gone the following morning.
The second complainant, a Mallard Lane resident, reported her bike theft to Officer Brian Nessmith.
The woman said she first noticed an unfamiliar bike, a Mongoose Optic one-speed BMX in silver, red and black, lying in her front yard when she left the house on her way to work. The complainant said when she returned home, her son said his Roadmaster MT Sport SX 18-speed bike in green and silver was missing. The boy’s bicycle was last seen at 11:30 p.m. on Sept. 18. Nessmith retrieved the Mongoose that had been left in the yard and logged it into evidence.
Reynolds said once an officer takes a report on a bike theft, the report gets turned over to investigators because it’s not uncommon for the bikes to randomly show up somewhere else.
"Some of these people, they’ll see a bike they like and put down the one they’re riding and pick that one up. Then they’ll see another one they like somewhere else, and switch it for that one," Reynolds said.
Reynolds said just within the last few days someone saw somebody riding their bike and recovered it, but didn’t get the name of the person who had gotten a hold of it.
Reynolds said it’s usually a crime of opportunity.
"If they’re left unattended it’s a good possibility they might disappear," he said. "We encourage everyone to lock them up whenever possible, and keep them in a safe spot."