Police capture cranking criminal

Unique hand-cranked bicycle stolen, and recovered, within minutes.

A 21-year old Kelowna man has been charged after he was caught riding a stolen hand-cranked bicycle early Thursday evening.

On Aug. 14,  at about 8 p.m., a member of the Kelowna RCMP was flagged down by a woman near Harvey Avenue and Burtch Road. She told him that a customized hand-cranked “handicapped” bicycle had just been stolen from her friend.

She also reported that the very distinguishable bicycle had just been spotted in the area being ridden by a male suspect.

Police quickly located the suspect in a nearby alley. He was found still in possession of the bike which has an estimated value of at least $2,000.

The man was taken into custody for possession of stolen property.

Through further investigation police determined that the bicycle, which had been left unlocked on the front balcony of a residence in the 1100 Block of Bernard Avenue, had been stolen with-in the previous 10 to 15 minutes.

The owner of the bicycle, a 27-year old Kelowna man who is physically disabled and relies heavily on the customized bike for transportation, was grateful for its safe return.

The Kelowna man faces possible criminal charges for possession of stolen property under $5,000.

He was later released from police custody on a promise to appear in court on Oct. 23.

Police warn that unsecured homes, vehicles and bicycles are a very tempting target for thieves and ask owners for their help in reducing theft in our community by locking them up.