Bike thieves go to great lengths to steal stored bikes at Seattle apartment building

SEATTLE -- For many people, their bike is their only mode of transportation.  So you can imagine the frustration after four bikes were stolen in two separate cases from a Seattle apartment complex.

One resident Q13 News talked to says this isn’t an isolated incident.

Lock up your bike and its safe. Right?  Not if you ask Ty Jenkins.

“I go in there and I’m like, Oh my goodness, our bikes were gone!” said Jenkins.

Seattle Police say two bikes were stolen Sunday morning at an apartment complex on John Street and Fifth Avenue near the Space Needle.  Jenkins provided us with surveillance photos.  In one, you can see one of the men using an object to apparently wedge open the door.  Inside, bikes for the taking.  Some locked up by cables.

“Something like this is not going to work really well so we recommend the U-locks,” said Velo Bike Shop sales associate Brian Craig.

But Monday morning two more bikes were stolen with those U-locks attached.

“They came back the next morning with an electric saw and blades from Home Depot. Cut off the two locks and walked out the door. It took them about four minutes,” said Jenkins.

Just down the block sits Velo Bike Shop and its array of locks to secure your bike.  Craig says nothing is fool proof.

“That’s why you shouldn’t leave your bike out overnight because that leaves them with plenty of time by themselves,” said Craig.

An isolated incident just in this building?  Jenkins says no.  He’s heard of other cases in nearby apartments, not just here.

“These guys are scouting, they know what they’re looking for.  All these new buildings, they’re all on display. I don’t understand why their bike storage areas are glass,” said Craig.

Overall bike thefts are down across Seattle.  Just 465 so far this year.  Even though we’re halfway through the year, that’s not even half of the 1,569 bike thefts in 2015.  Craig says there’s still time for you to be a victim, too.

“In an urban area like Seattle, bike theft is pretty common,” said Craig.

The building manager says the apartment complex will look into covering up windows to the bike storage area.  Also, Jenkins said he was told they’ll put plates on the lock so it’s not so easily broken into by thieves.