Nearly 4,000 bikes reported stolen in Toronto throughout 2020

WATCH ABOVE: The pandemic could be contributing to an epidemic of bike thefts in Toronto. Nearly 4,000 bikes were stolen last year. Sean O’Shea reports.

Third time lucky? Not for Laura McKay. Having lost her job and her livelihood because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Toronto woman also lost her third bicycle last week.

“At this point in the pandemic, I have no hope and no spirit so being kicked when you’re down doesn’t hurt as bad,” McKay told Global News in an interview.

She said her bicycle was stolen at her apartment building even though it was locked securely in a place where few could see it. McKay said she noticed it was missing after coming outside to pick up a package delivery.

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“Something’s wrong here … my f—ing bike is missing, pardon my French, but my bike is missing,” she said.

The stolen bike was a replacement for a previously stolen one. McKay said she used it to get around the city and for exercise.

New figures from Toronto police portray a serious problem with bicycle theft in Toronto.

Nearly 4,000 bicycles were stolen in 2020, including an increasing number in or beside condominium apartments and rental housing. The 2020 total is roughly three times higher than 2014.

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Since the pandemic was declared last year, retail demand for bicycles has soared; some bicycle dealers are telling clients they will have to wait until next year for their model of choice.

With bicycles so popular, thieves are seeking out valuable models, especially in the downtown core.

“It’s a nightmare scenario getting your bike stolen because then all of a sudden you can’t go anywhere, you can’t do anything,” said Adam Aboud as he affixed his bike to a City of Toronto lock-up ring in Corktown Commons.

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“I make sure to always lock up my bike.”

But even the best locks are no guarantee bikes be safe. McKay said she invested $200 in a lock, but it made no difference.

“They snapped my extremely expensive lock which I bought because it was stolen twice,” she said.

© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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