Bike theft caught on cell phone

bike theft

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - If you think a chain is all you need to keep your bicycle from being stolen, think again. A man's bike got stolen in Palm Springs by a man carrying bolt cutters, and it was caught on a cell phone. 

"It's not really fair," said Palm Springs resident Zaire Marin. 

Marin did all the right things when he left his bike in front of the Palm Springs Public Library Thursday afternoon..

"I parked my bike here and I locked it up with a wired chain like a reinforced steel chain," said Marin.

It didn't matter, the bike got stolen anyway.

"I don't have a car, and Palm springs being so small I can just ride around everywhere.  So that is really my only mode of transportation," said Marin. 

A library security guard took a cell phone picture after seeing the thief cut the lock off with bolt cutters. Police now want to know who he is.

"I've had 3 bikes stolen in the last two years I was surprised, but it was not unexpected," said Marin.  "It's extremely saddening and very expensive to maintain."

"It's a shame that is happening," said Michael Tarpey. Someone stole his bike too.  Tarpey never got it back.

"It was all I had. I had it locked up on the fence," said Tarpey.   "I think it's out of control especially for people like me who are homeless and that bike is their total transportation and their total livelihood."

"Whether you have the greatest security system at home, or the greatest bike lock money can buy, if there is an individual who is motivated enough to steal your property they probably can do it," said Palm Springs Police Sgt. Kyle Stjerne.

So what can you do?

"One rule of thumb that I always heard and read online is be sure your bike is safer than the bike next to you," said Marin.

Palm Springs Police says think about registering your bicycle. 

"There is no charge to register your bicycle we just need some basic information and to see the bike," said Stjerne.

You can also register any item in your home with a serial number, like a TV or computer.

"If any law enforcement officer comes across it in the state or sometimes in the country we will be able to track it back," said Stjerne. 

If you have any information about the bike theft call Valley Crimestoppers at (760) 341-stop.  You can remain anonymous and could be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

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