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Heartless thieves target kids' bikes in Port Coquitlam
A 13-year-old boy has learned the hard way that owning something nice can make some people greedy.
For the second time in less than six months, thieves have made off with a bike owned by Matt Ruditsch, a Minnekhada middle school Grade 8 student, even though, in both instances, the bikes were locked in front of the school building with other students' bikes.
The latest theft, which took place Tuesday afternoon at the Port Coquitlam school, has Coquitlam RCMP warning other cyclists to take extra precautions because bike thefts are on the rise in Port Coquitlam. School officials will be taking steps to prevent bike thefts, too.
Donna Ruditsch wrote a letter to The Tri-City News about the hard-heartedness of thieves who steal from kids, saying her son was extremely sad when he found out his bike was stolen.
"It's like his security and transportation are gone," said Ruditsch, who is the school's parent advisory council chair and her neighbourhood Block Watch captain. "Stealing bikes from a middle school, from a child, really... It just seems wrong that they would go to the means to steal from kids at that age."
Minnekhada vice-principal Todd Smith, who saw a man in his early 20s on the school property ride off on what was likely Matt's bike, said it took a while to process the fact that the bike was stolen from the school. He called the police and a search for the blue Norco Mountaineer (serial number AJ10110805 ) was conducted but nothing was found.
Although bike thefts are relatively rare at the school, Smith said he'll be looking at alternative locations for bike storage and will be talking to students about how to prevent bike theft and ways to make it easier to identify stolen bikes.
Coquitlam RCMP report 59 bike thefts in PoCo since January, compared to 46 over the same period last year and 41 during those months in 2010.
Cpl. Jamie Chung advises cyclists to use u-shaped hard locks rather than wire locks, which can be easily cut, and to get the brand with flat keys rather than cylinder keys, because they are harder to pick.
"Some bike thieves are just that good, they cut the lock and run away with it," he said.
• Anyone with information on Matt Ruditsch's stolen bike can call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550, quoting file number 12-20775.