More people than ever are riding their bikes to get to BART stations and thieves are following their lead. But the stations getting targeted by bike thieves might surprise you.
According to data obtained by NBC Bay Area, more than 600 bikes were stolen from BART stations this year. Stations in Contra Costa County were targeted the most often, with Pleasant Hill and Concord topping the list.
Steve Beroldo, a bike program manager with BART, says bike thefts tend to happen in clusters. "I think it’s a relatively small number of people who steal bikes," he said. "So we do see bikes in specific stations where an individual is working an area."
In video provided by BART police, it’s clear how quickly it can happen: A thief steals a bike locked up at the Pleasant Hill BART station, but this time officers spotted the attempt and take the man down. In this case, the suspect was arrested and the bike was recovered.
In the last two years, bike use went up 20 percent system-wide. With that in mind, Beroldo said BART is trying to provide more secure parking facilities. He said the 1,200 bike lockers the agency has installed at its stations are the best way for passengers to protect their bicycles.
Three-hundred more will soon be installed system-wide. According to BART, they’ll be going in at North Berkeley, Ashby, and Union City first because those stations have already reached capacity.
For now, 25 percent of cyclists who bring their bikes onboard do so only because of lack of secure parking back at the station, according to BART. The hope is installing more bike lockers will change that.