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Best friends' cross-country trip of a lifetime ends sadly when thieves make off with their bikes

CCTV footage shows men stealing locked bikes off the back of an RV, one of the bikes is specially adapted to make riding easier for the woman who has a weakened leg due to surgery

A cross-country camping trip for two best friends has ended in disappointment after a mountain bike was stolen in Coquitlam — right off the the back of an RV parked at a Burke Mountain home.

Now, Ivy Rajan is hoping someone will recognize the bike that her friend had adapted to accommodate a leg injury. “She has gone through a lot in life,” Rajan said. “I feel bad it happened in front of my house.”

The trip across Canada was a milestone event for the two women who met 35 years ago as college students in Massachusetts.

Although they led separate lives, Rajan, an environmental chemist who settled with her family in Coquitlam, and Rose, a doctor, who lives in Bend, Ore., the women often managed to squeeze in a trip together somewhere in the world. “She’s like my sister,” Rajan said.

However, their cross-Canada journey from the Maritimes to B.C. was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime for the pair, and they took every opportunity to meet people, hike and bike. “We were travelling, sightseeing, hiking, visiting the hot springs,” recalled Rajan. “We had so much fun. We parked at all the crazy places… and people were so lovely.”


But it wasn’t until they got back to Rajan's home on Forst Avenue on Burke Mountain that concerns were raised about their bikes’ safety. That’s because the neighbourhood had seen a spate of thefts over the last few years, said Rajan, whose blue Diamond Back bike was stolen at the same time as her friend’s Santa Cruz.

Still, Rose, who had travelled to Anchorage, Alaska, and across the U.S. and Canada with her bike, was confident the sturdy locks, metal strap and vehicle alarm would prevent theft.

Unfortunately, in the early morning hours of Oct. 26, someone ripped off their bikes: CCTV footage shows a person wrestling the bikes from the back of the RV and, 10 minutes later, the images show two men driving away on the bikes. “It’s not the worst thing to lose, a bike,” Rajan said. 

But she said it’s frustrating to lose their cycles after months of safe travel throughout Canada.

Rajan said she’s offering a reward for the return of the Santa Cruz bike, which has an air-powered adjustable suspension. “The point is, we shouldn’t have to be worried about leaving a bike out front of our home.”


Bike theft is common in the Tri-Cities, and Coquitlam Mounties say people should take steps to safeguard their property. Mounties confirmed that the theft was called in; the combined value of the two bikes is $5,200.

“The suspects were captured on CCTV and circulated to our officers in hopes of positively identifying them. No suspects have been identified at this time,” stated Cpl. Paige Armstrong, media relations officer, in an email to the Tri-City News.

Anyone who has seen the black Santa Cruz bike with green lettering — or the blue Diamond Back — are encouraged to call Coquitlam RCMP’s non-emergency number and quote file number 21-29628.

Meanwhile, Coquitlam RCMP has these tips to prevent bike theft:


• Record your bike’s serial number

• Photograph your bike

• Use a public bicycle registration system

• Engrave or mark your bike with something specific like your driver’s license number


• Never leave your bike unlocked

• Use a high-quality lock

• Remove the seat or a wheel as an extra deterrent

•Whenever possible, avoid leaving your bike in an underground parking structure

• Avoid leaving your bike on or in your vehicle, if possible


• If your bicycle is stolen, call Coquitlam RCMP at 604-945-1550 or visit the online crime-reporting tool with the serial number and description