North Van male charged in bike theft

North Vancouver

2019-05-29 12:13 PDT

File # 2019-13483

Frontline RCMP officers in North Van arrested an alleged bike thief Monday, May 27, 2019. On Tuesday the 28th, the BC Prosecution Service approved two charges against 22-year-old Matthew James Hurren, of no fixed address with one count of Possession of Stolen Property and one count of theft Under $5000 in relation to the case.

At around 2:00PM on May 27, 2019, North Vancouver RCMP received a report of a stolen bicycle from a resident in the Deep Cove area of North Vancouver. She reported that at some time in the preceding hour two mountain bikes that had been secured with a lock on the back of a vehicle parked at her residence, had been stolen.

A short time later, frontline officers patrolling for suspects spotted Mr. Hurren near Cates Park allegedly riding one of the stolen bicycles, which is valued at around $4000. Officers took him into custody at the scene.

North Vancouver RCMP’s crime statisticians have identified an increase in bike thefts in certain areas of North Vancouver since the beginning of January. Well, more people are getting their bikes out now that the weather has warmed up, said Sgt. Peter DeVries, spokesperson for the North Vancouver RCMP. They’re riding to coffee shops, they have their bikes outside in their carports, they have them in the backs of their pickups after heading up for trail ride. They’re more visible, so we’re not all that surprised to see an increase. That’s because bike thefts are largely crimes of opportunity.

Combatting bike thefts can be challenging for police. Thieves commonly dismantle a stolen bike within a few hours, then reassemble it using parts from other stolen bikes. When we see a known bike thief with a bike or some bike parts, we will stop and question them, said DeVries. The problem is, even if we are highly suspicious that it might be stolen, if the owner hasn’t reported it to us along with the serial number, or taken the time to engrave identity markings on the main components, there’s nothing we can do. We have to let them go on their way. It’s frustrating.

Even when bikes are locked, experienced thieves are proficient at defeating many security devices. But often people still leave valuable bikes unsecured. I like to ask people, ‘How much did you pay for your bike?’, and they’ll say $2,500 or something, said DeVries. Then I ask them to imagine that amount of money as a pile of 20’s, 50’s, and 100 dollar bills, and ask if they would leave a stack of that amount of cash on a railing outside Starbucks while they popped in for an iced coffee. It’s really no different.

There are many ways to make your bike a less appealing target for thieves, but we’ve narrowed it down to three, easy to remember principles:

Lock, Layer, Label.

Lock your bike. Always.

Layer your locks (make a game out of seeing how many layers you can create), for example:

Label each major component with your driver’s license number or phone number, or record the serial #, because:

Released by

Sgt. Peter DeVries

Media Relations Officer
North Vancouver RCMP
nvan.rcmp-grc.gc.ca (English only)
147 East 14th St, North Van., BC, V7L 2N4
Office: 604-969-7561
Cell: 604-363-5584
Fax: 604-969-7587

Email: peter.devries@rcmp-grc.gc.ca

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