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IS S.L. THE BICYCLE-THEFT CAPITAL?

Is Salt Lake City becoming the bicycle theft capital of the Mountain West? I have now lost three. My nice red one and my young son's little black one were lost due to our stupidity. We figured they were safe on the carport "hidden" behind our parked vehicles.

So we learned. For a year we brought them inside at night even though there was no room for them. I bought a nice new yellow and gray Husky. It was for my exercise program. My daughter decided to borrow it to go visit the neighbors. Knowing of thieves, she locked it in their garage. When it came time to go home for the evening, she took it out and parked it on the driveway for less than five minutes while she ran in to say goodnight.The neighbors heard the sound of a kick-stand being raised. The entire house emptied in pursuit of the thieves, some on foot and two in vehicles. They escaped. They took my bike and my daughter's friend's bike, valued at $500. He cried because his parents had said: "This is the third bike. Lose this one and we will buy no more." My daughter was afraid to even tell me what had happened.

Why do we have to live like this? Why can't people work and save and buy their own bikes like we have to do? What are they doing with so many bikes? Can it be an out-of-state "ring of thieves?" Where are the vigilant parents asking, "Son, where did you get that new bike?" "Where did you get an expensive bike like that?"

In the summer of 1991, someone told me that 350 bicycles were stolen in Sandy alone. If that was true, what would be the grand total for all of Salt Lake City? I feel it is a minimum American right to own a bicycle, but now I am afraid to buy another one.

Earl V. Elmont

Midvale