It's not so much about finding the suspects (although Police VERY much like to do so), it's as much about making sure stolen property gets returned to owners.

Hermiston Police Chief Captain Travis Enyon reported Thursday his department has been spending increasingly large amounts of time picking up abandoned bikes that people are leaving all over town. They're getting a lot of calls about them.

Often, they're left in places that block traffic or even near store fronts. Enyon says it appears to be the work of "Ne’er-do-wells," (never do wells--an old expression) who use them as if they were rentals.

You may have heard of cities that have bike share programs. Using cellphone apps and digital, people can 'borrow' a bike, ride it for a while, then leave it at one of a number of designated drop off spots. Kind of like the scooter programs some cities are starting.

Enyon says increasing numbers of these "ne'er do wells" see a bike, grab it, and simply use it to get across town, or wherever they need to do. Some use for a few days. Then the bikes are dumped wherever these people feel like.

Officers know this because when they run the registrations, they don't come up stolen; but they most likely are.

Enyon says anyone who has a bike should register the serial number, that can easily be done with a cellphone camera and registered at the Police Department. It goes into a database and if stolen and recovered (abandoned) officers can get it back to you.

And if registered, you can report it to Police and they can keep an eye our for it. A surprising number of stolen bikes are recovered this way, especially the more expensive distinctive ones.

Enyon said otherwise, abandoned bikes are usually stored by Police until they run out of room, then they're disposed of in bulk.

He also said, obviously, lock up or store your bike where nobody can see it.

It's obviously enough of an issue he felt compelled to remind the public about it. With homelessness on the sharp rise in WA and OR, it's also suspected a number of these thefts are being done by transients.


See the Must-Drive Roads in Every State


More From 870 AM KFLD