Police continue to deploy the bait bike throughout Eugene. On August 19, the bike was deployed by Property Crimes and Financial Crimes units in the west Eugene area and placed in racks outside a business at different times. On each occasion, the bikes were taken a short time later and the suspects were contacted by police.
Police arrested Charles Casey Pilkenton, age 56, of Eugene (Case 21-12863), and James Dashune Hunter, age 36, of Eugene (Case 21-12853). Both were charged with Theft in the Second Degree. This was Hunter’s second arrest this year for stealing a bait bike. He was contacted in May following a bait bike operation by the downtown team.
The theft of a bike can hit someone hard, especially if it took their last penny to buy it or it is their main means of transportation. The Bait Bike stings are a way to help deter the thefts in Eugene. EPD Property Crimes Unit detectives have placed a changing supply of bait bikes at various locations in the city to combat the problem and arrest those who are responsible.
EPD Community Engagement Team offers these prevention tips:
Preventing Bicycle Theft
Like most college towns, Eugene has a significant bike theft problem. Bikes are valuable, portable and easy to resell, making them attractive to thieves. 603 bicycles were reported stolen in the City of Eugene in 2019. By taking some precautions, you can lower the odds that you’ll be the victim of a stolen bike.
LOCK YOUR BIKE - Lock your bike at all times, no matter how short of time you will be leaving it. Make sure the lock is attached to the frame of the bicycle and secured to a fixed, immovable object. Invest in a solid hardened steel U-bolt style lock. You should expect to pay $40 or more for a quality lock. Cheap ones can be easily defeated. Some U-locks come with insurance that will pay you if the lock is overcome and the bike is stolen. You can use additional locks to secure wheels and other parts. Cable locks can be good secondary locks but should not be used as your primary lock. Secure your bicycle in the garage the same way you would on the street. There is no locking method that is 100 percent infallible. With time and tools, a thief can defeat your lock. Bikes left at racks overnight are particularly vulnerable. Bring your bicycle indoors or lock it in your garage whenever possible.
WHAT TO DO IF YOUR BIKE IS STOLEN - If your bike is stolen, file a police report as soon as possible. This type of report can be filed (for crimes occurring in the incorporated area of Eugene) online at Report a Crime or our non-emergency line 541-682-5111. In addition, register your stolen bike with Greater Eugene Area Riders (GEARs) https://eugenegears.org/bike-registration/. GEARs uses Bike Index to send out alerts of stolen bikes and provides a publicly searchable database to help people identify and avoid buying a stolen bike. Post the bike as stolen in the bike section of Craigslist. If you receive a tip or info, contact police, 541-682-5111 for the incorporated area of Eugene. Please do not attempt to recover the bike on your own.
GET INVOLVED - Get involved in the bicycle community. Many resources can be found here: City of Eugene Transportation