After BART police caught a suspected bike thief in the act at San Francisco’s 24th Street station last month, investigators this week have been able to connect at least one bicyclist to their stolen wheels–or remaining frames and handlebars, a BART police spokeswoman said.
On May 31, BART police arrested 47-year-old Brett Major, of San Francisco, on suspicion of stealing a bicycle at the 24th Street BART station, BART police Officer Era Jenkins said.
A search of Majors’ home turned up seven bicycle frames and parts, police said. BART officials released photos of those bicycles earlier this week.
Since releasing information about the bicycle thefts, one bike owner positively identified a stolen bicycle based on its serial number, Jenkins said.
The investigator handling bicycle thefts said she has received about 10 emails from bicyclists concerning stolen bicycles, Jenkins said.
To expedite recovery of stolen goods Jenkins recommended calling BART investigators and describing something specific about the bike in question. More helpful is sending pictures of the specific bike–not just a generic manufacturer photograph.
Jenkins said a BART bicycle task force, comprised of bicyclists, BART police units and a BART employee charged with overseeing bicycle issues, has been at work since January to quell bicycle theft fears.
Undercover stings, increased safety awareness education and fliers with prevention tips are all efforts BART has been putting into action at stations, Jenkins said.
She added BART is looking into “environmental changes” which include moving bicycle racks and lockers into more visible areas, which would allow station agents to keep a better eye on the parked bicycles.
Jenkins reiterated what many BART posters state on trains and in stations–if riders see something suspicious it should be reported to authorities.
In a separate bicycle theft case, a second BART customer was able to reconnect with a stolen bicycle that was recovered by San Francisco police last month, Jenkins said.
An investigation through the Ingleside Station led authorities to 114 bicycles believed to be taken from around the Bay Area.
The bicycles were found in two Oakland storage lockers and the suspected 18-year-old thief’s San Francisco home.
Irving Sanchez was arrested May 17 in connection to the large-scale bike thievery, San Francisco police said.
Photos of the seven bicycles recovered by BART police can be found at http://www.bart.gov/news/articles/2012/news20120612.aspx.
Jenkins urged owners of the stolen property to call the BART Police Investigations Unit at (510) 464-7040.
BART riders who have had bikes stolen are also encouraged to look
for their stolen property on the San Francisco Police Department’s Ingleside
Station website, which has catalogued the 114 recovered stolen bicycles, at
Sasha Lekach, Bay City News
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