Portland Police announce bike theft task force

PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Portland Police Bureau announced a new bike theft task force that will aim to reduce chronic bike thefts in the city.

"We're here today because we've seen an alarming rise in the number of bikes stolen in the City of Portland," Portland Chief of Police, Larry O'Dea told reporters.

The task force, which partners police with community leaders, was announced at a Tuesday morning news conference, and includes Jonathan Maus of, J. Allard of, Bryan Hance of, Danielle Booth of the Portland Bureau of Transportation and officers David Sanders and David Bryant.

Through a new website, Portland residents can report stolen bikes, submit tips or register their own bikes in case they're stolen.

At the conference, Chief O'Dea explained why bike thefts impact more than bicycle owners.

"We're also here because bike theft is often tied to drug use, burglary, and other types of criminal behavior," O'Dea said.

MT @stolenbikereg: "how not to secure your bike"

PPB BTTF (@PPBBikeTheft) March 13, 2015

"Bicycling is a fundamental facet of Portland's culture," Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said. "This partnership will help spread bike owner best practices, such as recording and registering serial numbers, so we can work together to protect one of our favorite modes of transportation.

Chief O'Dea said more than 2,700 bikes were stolen last year, costing Portland residents about $2 million.

The Portland Police Bureau has also created a new Twitter account to "enhance community engagement."

"If people don't feel confident about the safety of their bicycles, they will not ride them," Transportation Director Leah Treat said. "We want to help people understand how to prevent bike theft and how we all can help police recover stolen bikes."

In a separate effort to keep track of stolen bikes, Portland Police introduced Anti-Theft Dot technology. The "dots" are clear adhesives applied to bikes, or any other property, that are unique to each user and leave behind a "fingerprint" when the sticker is removed. Users can register their bikes to the Law Enforcement National Recovery Database in case their bikes are stolen.

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