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LAPD, DTLA bike stores team up to sell discounted u-locks

By Hayley Fox
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2012, at 10:01AM
Flickr via whyamiKeenan

The LAPD and two downtown LA bike shops are teaming up to sell discounted u-locks in an attempt to curb bike thefts.

Bike theft remains a top crime in downtown L.A., says the LAPD Central Division, so police and two area bike shops are teaming up to promote $5 coupons for the heavy-duty -- but often expensive -- Kryptonite u-locks.

Downtown LA Bicycles on Hill Street and DTLA Bikes on Broadway will be selling the discounted bike locks. Dan Farahirad, manager of Downtown LA Bicycles, said his store is "all about" this new program.

"We definitely don't mind discounting a little to make sure people's bikes are secure," he said.

The u-locks start at around $30 and go upwards to $200 or $300, but the more expensive locks tend to get a little bulky, said Farahirad.

To further curb bike theft, the bike shop has posted a video online about how to lock your bike properly. It has also launched a Facebook group called Stolen Bikes LA, which currently has almost 800 members. Farahirad described the group as a type of "neighborhood watch of cyclists and non-cyclists," where people can post photos and information about their stolen bikes so others can be on the look-out.

The Facebook group has also become a forum for safety tips and advice on how to keep thieves from stealing your bike. West Vasquez posted a reminder he received from police to engrave your driver's license number on the bike frame. This way, if police stop someone on the bike, they can easily look up the ID number and realize the bike is stolen.

LAPD Central Division says that every bike stolen in Downtown in recent months has been because it was left unlocked and unattended, or secured, but only with a chain/cable lock. They recommend only using u-locks and always securing your bike to a fixed bike rack. If those aren't available, parking meters, trees, sign-posts and light-posts are effective alternatives. If possible, keep your bike in your sight-line or in a "highly pedestrian traveled area."

Bike thefts are also taking place along public transit lines, as Metro's blog the Source reports that between May 1 and Sept. 8 of this year, there were 14 bike thefts at various Expo line stations.

To print out a $5 coupon visit the LAPD Central Area Facebook page


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