VicPD is reporting an increase in property crimes and bike thefts in the community. (Black Press Media file photo)

VicPD arrests three people, shuts down bicycle ‘chop-shop’ after using ‘bait’ bike

Police report increase in property crime and bike thefts in Burnside Gorge neighbourhood

Victoria police officers arrested three alleged bike thieves, shut down a bicycle “chop-shop” and seized stolen bikes after setting up a bait bike in response to rising property crimes in the community.

VicPD said there has been an increase in property crime, including bike thefts, in the Burnside Gorge neighbourhood. Officers deployed a bait bike in the Topaz Park area on April 16 which was stolen a short time later, according to VicPD.

READ ALSO: West Shore RCMP arrests one man after ‘bait’ bike stolen

Bait bikes are bicycles equipped with tracking, identification and other technologies that allow officers to follow their movement. Police said the bike led officers to Beacon Hill Park where they found a “chop-shop” in operation. Officers arrested the alleged bike thief and seized numerous stolen bikes.

VicPD said a subsequent investigation led officers to find and arrest two more suspected bike thieves and seize more stolen property. The investigations are ongoing.

According to VicPD, officers continue to investigation prolific property offences as part of the department’s efforts to combat rising property crimes including bike thefts. Bait bikes are currently deployed.

READ ALSO: Victoria police reports 126 per cent increase in calls near Topaz Park

Anyone with information about property crime offenders in the community is asked to call the VicPD strike force line directly at 250-995-7260.

The VicPD strike force is a focused, investigative unit that uses investigative techniques including clandestine surveillance, undercover operations and confidential information to identify, target and arrest prolific offenders in Victoria and Esquimalt.

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