Bicycle theft is the most prevalent theft in Gulfport, FL and it is on the rise. So far this year, there have been over 80 bicycles stolen in Gulfport, nearly doubling the 48 that occurred in the first half of 2013.
Gulfport police have developed new tactics to fight bike thieves. Police are installing hidden GPS trackers on bicycles placed throughout the community. Once the bikes have been stolen, the officers can simply send a text to the GPS asking, “Where are you?” and it will respond with its location. This allows the police to locate the bait bike along with the thief.
Patrols will be increasing enforcement of bicycle safety regulations as well. While stopped for statutory violations, officers will check the bike serial numbers against a database of stolen property.
Bicycles are not the only things being stolen; there have been over 70 automotive burglaries in Gulfport this year compared with only 27 this time last year. In response to the heightened criminal activity, the department is increasing the number of neighborhood foot patrols and reminds residents to lock up their property because most items are stolen from open areas, away from the home. Bikes are most often taken from open garages and porches, whereas vehicles that are burglarized are more often parked on the street and in poorly lit areas.
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