GPS & helicopter tracks Los Angeles bike theft

NBC news investigative reporting team in Los Angeles used their news helicopter to track a bike thief and hit pay dirt when they located a home with dozens of apparently stolen bikes.

NBC 4 in Los Angeles reports that bike theft is up dramatically throughout the Los Angeles area. Bike thefts are up 132% in Burbank, 137% in Long Beach, 201% in North Hollywood, and 230% in Santa Monica.

They hid a GPS tracker in a bicycle and locked it up at the North Hollywood Metro Station. A hidden camera showed the bike thief defeating the cable lock within 16 seconds. When the GPS device texted an alert to the news producer, they went to follow the thief on the stolen bike to a house in Sun Valley.

They then flew their news helicopter over the home and shot video of dozens of bikes in the backyard. The news journalists showed that video to the police, who moved in and confiscated the bikes. The suspect, Juan, admitted to police that he bought and stole bikes that he thought might be stolen.

Watch the full report here if the embedded video doesn’t work. H/T @SFMCAS.

Leave a Reply

  1. Maybe a coalition of people who own small gps trackers and remote-control copters (ahem, “drones”) should get together to do this around the bay area. Equip those babies with a few good cameras (visible, i/r, millimeter-wave…) and see what you can find! Also this is the first good reason to ride carbon fiber–you can put a crane on the copter and lift your 11-pound bike to safety.

    So, I’m all for stopping bike theft, preferably by beheading all bike thieves, but where does one draw the line on this stuff?