Police Department seeing a rise in bicycle thefts
SANTA BARBARA — The Santa Barbara Police Department has seen an increase in bicycle thefts, taking reports for more than 320 stolen bikes this year, according to a press release. A total of 159 of those stolen were valued over $950 each.
The Police Department encourages the public to take steps that can keep them from becoming victims of bike theft. These include storing bicycles indoors, in a bicycle locker, or inside a locked vehicle. Because cable and chain-based locks can easily be undone by inexpensive and readily-available tools, it is recommended that bike owners use U-style locks should they have to store their bicycle outdoors.
Bicycle thefts tend to go unreported because owners don’t have serial numbers or suspect information that can lead to their bike’s recovery. It is therefore suggested that bicycle owners record their bike’s serial number, make, model, and other distinguishing features. Serial numbers are often on a bicycle’s bottom bracket.
To increase the chances of finding a bike should it be stolen, bicycle owners can register their bikes at SBbike.org. Bike owners should also file an in-person police report with their bicycle’s serial number immediately after a theft occurs.
Fire Department puts out small fire by train tracks
SANTA BARBARA — On Tuesday afternoon, firefighters from the City of Santa Barbara Fire Department put out a small fire along the railroad tracks on the west side of Calle Cesar Chavez.
According to City Fire Marshal Joe Poire, the Fire Department has been seeing small fires like this near the train tracks in the vicinity of homeless camps about every other day for the past couple weeks. The fire marshal said the reason behind this fire and others like it is unknown, though it is demonstrably not caused by cooking or warming fires sometimes set by homeless individuals.
He added that they are not fires set by some homeless person to get back at another homeless person who stole something from them, because “they’re not targeting anything in particular.”
Although the fire was small and what Mr. Poire called “nuisance-oriented,” the Fire Department put it out and is taking these fires seriously since even small fires “can get big in a hurry.”
“We’re trying to figure out who’s doing it so we have investigators working on it,” he said.
– Josh Grega