Alaska man creates ‘bait bike’ to thwart thefts

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska man has created what he believes will be a deterrent to bicycle thefts from his property.

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Nick Stewart said he was tired of bicycles stolen from his Anchorage home, so he has invented a way to “get back” at thieves without stretching the boundaries of the law.

After having one bike pilfered in 2019 and two more stolen last month, Stewart now has a bicycle in his driveway that is booby-trapped, KTUU reported.

If a potential thief mounts the bicycle, the seat will fall through, the television station reported. Stewart removed half of the brake pads from the bicycle, and also set up the two-wheeler in high gear but actually put it in low gear so the chains fall off if someone begins to pedal.

For an added touch, the bicycle is chained town with a thin metal wire that is difficult to spot a night, according to KTUU.

“‘What can I do to kind of get back at them?’ kind of thing,” Stewart told the television station. “With, you know, being within the law and everything. So this is kind of it. And you know, getting it on video, posting it on Facebook, and things like Nextdoor. Get those faces out there, maybe they can recognize them.”

Stewart said that since he set up the booby-trapped bike, two people have attempted to steal it. Videos of both attempts were posted to social media.

A spokesperson for the Anchorage Police Department was impressed with Stewart’s ingenuity but suggested that residents not take matters into their own hands, stating that potential thieves can have different reactions, some of which could be dangerous.

Stewart knows his invention will not solve bicycle theft in Anchorage, but he said it was a step in the right direction.

“One or two that’s less stolen because they got a hold of a bait bike and that deters them once or twice? That’s good enough for me,” Stewart told KTUU.