14 bicycles reported stolen in five-week span

Photo courtesy Niskayuna PolicePhoto courtesy Niskayuna Police

By Kristin Schultz

Gazette Reporter

Niskayuna police are encouraging residents to secure their belongings after a rash of bicycle thefts.

Between Aug. 1 and Sept. 6, 14 bicycles were reported stolen in the town. Seven of those incidents occurred in the Old Niskayuna area of the town.

According to police, the bicycles were unsecured when they were taken. Three were lifted from public places: in front of ShopRite, Target and the town pool. The rest were taken from residents’ yards or unlocked garages.

Although no numbers from thefts in the past were immediately available, Deputy Chief Michael Stevens reported that the number of recent incidents seems high.

“Our advice to everyone is to secure their property,” Stevens said. “We urge residents to lock their garages and put garage doors down.”

He also encourages residents to take in or put away and out of sight any and all toys, bicycles and other belongings. Bicyclists should also lock their bikes when in public places.

Of the 14 incidents, to were attempted meaning that the owners caught the thief or thieves in the act and while the residents were able to recover their bicycles, the suspects escaped before police could arrive.

Stevens said that the chances of recovering the bicycles is not very high, but recording a bicycle’s serial number can help police in the event of a theft. There is a statewide database into which officers can record a stolen bike’s serial number and if a bike is later recovered, that serial number can be checked against the database.

In addition to securing bicycles and outdoor belongings and locking both garage and house doors, Stevens reminds residents to lock their cars as thieves view unlocked vehicles as an easy target.

“Very few of our larcenies from vehicles involve forced entry,” Stevens said. “Most are from vehicles that were left unlocked. We stress for everyone to lock their possessions to help avoid thefts.”

He said residents will sometimes leave valuables like laptops or wallets or even change in unlocked cars. Those items and cash are tempting targets for would-be thieves.

“We live in a nice community,” said Stevens. “But sometimes we have people with ill intentions. We encourage everyone to lock their residence, garage and cars at all times.”

If anyone knows anything about the thefts, they are encouraged to call Niskayuna Police. Similarly, if residents hear something suspicious around their homes, Stevens urges them to call 911.