A sharp increase in bicycle thefts is believed to be the work of a small group in Nanaimo.
The investigation has created a challenge for Nanaimo RCMP to find the owners of recovered stolen bicycles.
Normally about a dozen bikes a week go missing. Since midsummer the rate has more than doubled. Bikes often turn up abandoned, then police try to return them to their original owner. It's not always easy.
"Some of them are quite valuable, in the order of $5,000 or $6,000," said Const. Gary O'Brien, Nanaimo RCMP spokesman.
If not claimed within 90 days, they are turned over to Nanaimo recycling for resale or disposal.
Two investigators have been assigned to help clear up a backlog of seized bicycles.
"The bikes currently stored at the Nanaimo RCMP detachment are being catalogued, serial numbers searched for ownership and significant markings noted for identification purposes," O'Brien said.
Inquiries should be made to Const. Derek Segstro weekdays between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. at 250-755-3193. A serial number or other identifying information is needed.
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