While a North Augusta man was at University Hospital, a thief stole two bicycles off the back of his car by cutting through the bike lock early Friday morning.
Including those, at least nine bicycles were stolen in Augusta between Friday and Sunday.
Richmond County sheriff’s Lt. Jimmy Young, who runs the property crimes division, said bike thefts typically go up during the summer.
The bikes are mostly taken from yards and porches because the owners fail to lock them, he said. Sometimes the locks are cut through, as was the case for North Augusta’s Stephen Carlyle Beckett.
Beckett had three bikes locked up on a rack behind his truck, according to a police report. He was at University Hospital from 12:30 to 6 a.m. When he emerged, he discovered that two of the three had been stolen. One of them was a Panasonic racing bike valued at $800, the report said.
Drew Jordan, the manager of Andy Jordan’s Bicycle Warehouse, said the best locks are U-locks.
“This is going to be your best level of protection,” he said while holding the lock. “It has a real hard steel U.”
Sometimes bicycle thefts are covered by homeowner’s insurance, or even car insurance. If not, some U-lock makers will cover the loss of a locked bike for up to $1,000, Jordan said.
Although bike racks are few and far between in Augusta, bikers can lock to metal stair railings or sturdy street signs. Jordan said to be careful of wooden objects because they can be broken. Also, beware of an object without a wide top, where the thief can just lift the bike and remove it with the lock attached.
At night, it is best to take bikes inside, Young said.
“Don’t leave any item of value unsecured,” he said. “It’s likely going to get up and walk away.”