Police: Bike Thefts on the Rise in South Philadelphia

PHILADELPHIA (WTXF) Police say bike thefts have been on the rise in South Philadelphia.

"The lock was there just cut. The chain was hanging there," said Cassie Sarago. She returned from work Wednesday morning to find someone had stolen her bike that had been locked up outside her South Philly apartment.

"I had actually just put two new tires on it and hadn't even ridden it yet so that was pretty upsetting," said Cassie.

Surveillance cameras from a business nearby captured it all. Police are still reviewing it before deciding whether to release it. But Cassie says it shows the suspect already on a bike.

"He digs in his bag and pulls up out chain cutters or wire cutters. You see him look around some more then he cuts it and looks around some more. Then he just walks away pushing both bikes," she said.

The Philadelphia Police 3rd District says Cassie's bike is one of 10 stolen on the east side of South Philly last week. The week before only two bike thefts were reported. All had locks and chains cut.

"It's best if they took precautions and maybe bought better locks or brought their bikes inside their residence or place of work so that they're not left outside unattended," said Officer Michael Duffy.

Pete Celona agrees. He lives in South Philly and has what he calls a top notch lock.

"I think it's live and learn. I've had a couple bikes stolen before," said Pete.

He says after having a bike in three major cities, San Fransisco, New York City and Philadelphia he isn't taking any chances.

"If you have a $700 dollar bike or $1,000 and you're using a 5, 10, or 25 dollar lock you get what you pay for," he said.

Police say they've made one arrest so far in the recent rash of bike thefts.

Over the the past six months, there have been 137 bike thefts reported in South Philly.

They've also send out a community crime bulletin to residents in the district.

If you'd like to get on the list to receive crime bulletins for the 3rd District email Michael.Duffy@phila.gov or you can make a request on Twitter @PPDMikeDuffy or @PPD03Dist or visit https://www.phillypolice.com/districts/3rd/.