Grand theft cycle

Chico has a growing bicycle theft problem, according to Chico police

The perception that bicycle theft is on the rise in Chico is no illusion—it's now backed up by statistics from the Chico Police Department.

A staff report prepared by Chief Michael O’Brien (pictured) notes that, between Jan. 1 and June 1 this year, 168 bike thefts were reported, compared to 149 over the same period last year. The average value of the stolen bikes was estimated at $412. “It is our contention that our bike theft issue is a visible symptom of a much larger problem,” the report states. All thefts increased by 23 percent in 2014, and this year “appears to be tracking in the same direction.”

Of 106 bike thefts analyzed by police, 74 were locked—48 with a cable lock, nine with a U-lock, five with a chain and 12 with an undetermined device.