Police say they are seeing a rise in bicycle theft, and say the issue is not a new phenomenon.
The department’s bike theft statistics, released this week, show bike thefts nationwide increased from 7,922 in 2015 to 8,871 in 2016.
In 2016, there were a total of 1,854 bike thefts in New Jersey and Delaware.
“The bicycle theft problem is an issue we have seen before,” Deputy Chief Michael Lefebvre said in a news release.
“However, the recent increase in incidents in New Brunswick and other areas has us concerned.”
New Brunswick police said bike thefts jumped 25% in the first quarter of 2017 compared to the same period last year.
The rate in New Hampshire jumped by 12%.
New York police said the numbers are up 10% from the same time last year and a total 14% in Brooklyn and Staten Island.
Lefemvre said bike theft is the biggest problem he has seen in the department’s 40-year history.
“We’re dealing with an increased incidence of thefts, both on our streets and at home,” Lefevre said.
“It’s not just a problem for people who are in their cars.”
Lefenvre said police are working with community groups to make bike theft more appealing to victims.
“I know it’s an issue that has been talked about before,” Lebvre added.
“People who are just walking to work are very familiar with it.
“Lebvre also said that the department will be looking at bike theft as a crime. “
“Anytime you see an increase in thefts, it means there’s an increased likelihood of other crimes, too,” he said. “
Lebrevre declined to comment further on the department policy on bicycle theft. “
Anytime you see an increase in thefts, it means there’s an increased likelihood of other crimes, too,” he said.
Lebrevre declined to comment further on the department policy on bicycle theft.
The New Jersey Department of Transportation, the state’s main transportation agency, said it is working with state police to determine the cause of the increased bike thefts.
It said the department has not received any complaints about the increased thefts and that it has not identified any specific individuals involved in the incidents.
It also noted that the increased numbers of bike thefts may be due to increased attention on bike safety.
“There has been a marked increase in bicycle thefts across New Jersey, and as a result, the number of bike theft incidents has increased, from 774 incidents in 2015, to 821 in 2016,” the DOT said in its news release, citing a study from the New Jersey Conference Board.
The conference board, a trade group of the state transportation agency that promotes transportation systems, estimated that between 2014 and 2016, 1,200 bicycles were stolen from New Jersey.
The number of reported bicycle thefts has increased by about 25% from 2015 to 2016, the report said.
In response to the increased reports of bike thieves, the DOT announced that it is increasing its bicycle parking enforcement and enforcement efforts in some areas.
In 2017, the department installed signs at some intersections advising motorists of the bicycle parking requirement, according to the news release from DOT.
Lekens said he doesn’t know why the number has risen.
“That’s a tough question,” he added.
The DOT has said it has reduced the number and length of hours of bicycle parking in some neighborhoods.
“These efforts to increase awareness about bike safety and encourage bicycle use have led to a reduction in thefts,” Leken said in the release.
The police department’s numbers also showed a decrease in the number, but not the amount, of bike-related crimes.
Leshas, who is an associate professor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, said he thinks the increase in bike thefts is due to people taking advantage of the new rules.
“They see the signs and they know that you can get out of there,” he explained.
“You can get to work and then take a bike and drive home.”