DENVER (CBS4) – Denver police are using a new tool to arrest bicycle thieves across the city. They’re called “bait bikes.”
HALO camera video from Oct. 4 shows a bike thief taking the bait at Sports Authority Field at Mile High.
“We want them to think that they will be caught if they’re stealing bikes,” said Cmdr. Paul Pazen with the Denver Police Department.
The video shows the man take bolt cutters from his satchel, cut the lock, place both items in his bag, and then ride off. Two blocks later Denver police arrested George Vigil, 45, another alleged crook nabbed by a DPD bait bike.
“We try to mimic the types of bikes that are being stolen on the streets,” said Pazen. “This is another way to protect our citizens and their property.”
Pazen says the bait bikes are placed all across the city in areas where there are a high number of bike thefts. Home Broncos games are especially popular for the bicycle bandits. The bait bikes are worth as much as $7,000 and equipped with GPS tracking technology. So far this year the bikes have helped nab at least 20 people.
“That’s a good idea. I’m glad,” said Broncos fan Simon Zavala.
Zavala has had two bikes stolen. He likes the idea of baiting the crooks.
“I think it’s a good idea because there are a lot of people that pay good money for a bike just to get it stolen like that,” he said.
Pazen says different bike makes and models are rotated through the police districts. And as police prepare their next sting, Zavala has a message for the thieves: “Go to jail, spend a little time there and not steal bikes no more.”
Police will not say the exact number of bait bikes have been placed across the city, but admit there are “several.”
The latest suspected bike thief, Vigil, has been charged with felony theft.