Thieves caught red-handed on surveillance camera are the subject of a search by Torrance police after a rash of bikes thefts have plagued the city since June.
Nearly 30 bikes were stolen -- 10 of them in September -- mostly from apartment buildings, and at least one person (pictured at right) was caught on video stealing them, police said.
"One of our friends was playing basketball about a month ago at church, and came home to find his bike was stolen out of his carport," Torrance resident Cathryn Sunico said.
One local bike shop owner said he isn't surprised by the thefts and has heard countless stories of bicyclists who quickly become unsuspecting victims.
"People go inside to drop something off real quick, leave their garage door open, and they come back out -- bike is gone. It’s that fast," said Daniel Bomfim, Helen’s Cycles manager.
Typically, the lighter the bicycle, the more expensive it is, which means thieves can easily pick up and run away with something worth $10,000, he said.
"People are realizing it’s an expensive hobby or sport," Bomfim said. "Bikes have gone up in price a lot."
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Bomfim recommends a U-lock for about $40, which is a strong, hard metal that is difficult for thieves to break.
"Most thieves aren’t going to want to deal with that," he said.
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