Bike thieves hit St. Pete’s Old Northeast neighborhood hard this week – including Shelley Horsley, whose beloved El Dorado Pink Cadillac Cruiser was stolen.
It was her pride and joy: “I didn’t like anyone touching my bike. I didn’t let anyone ride it….I was crying last night. I wanted my bike.”
Shelley kept her bike behind her apartment; cable locks secured it to a back stairwell. When she returned from a vacation out west…her bike, and her husband’s was gone.
When she posted a picture of her stolen bike on the Nextdoor app… she wasn’t alone. Several were stolen in her area… in the same night.
“I’m seeing it happen to a lot of people around here right now,” she says.
Her mistakes: She left the bikes outside, she removed a small alarm for fear of disturbing neighbors, and she used a cable lock.
“The main thing about cable locks is that they can be cut with bolt cutters,” says Alex Abraham at St. Pete Bicycle & Fitness. Much more effective are U-locks (a few examples, with some starting as low as $10), which deter burglars because they have to be sawed off, taking up extra time and effort.
St. Pete Bike uses U-locks on all of their rentals – and not a single one has ever been stolen.
St. Pete Police urge bike owners to register serial numbers with the authorities (CLICK HERE TO REGISTER). It’s easy and it works: Last year St. Pete Police recovered 129 stolen bikes.
Shelley Horsley won’t stop until her bike is recovered, too: “I’m out for blood right now. I’m mad.”