The Washington Post

Bike thefts in Arlington at all-time high

If you live in Arlington, police have a message for you: Lock up your bike. Bicycle theft in the county is at an all-time high, according to police statistics.

Sixty-seven bikes were stolen in July, 21 more than in any other month in the past three years, police said. From June 1 to Aug. 5, 126 bikes were reported stolen, an estimated property loss of nearly $100,000.

Arlington police officials generally like to emphasize that crime in the county is low. But when it comes to their bikes, some residents might feel a little too safe. People are leaving bikes in garages and storage spaces and on balconies and patios without any locks at all, or locking them outside with cables that are easy to cut, police spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.

“The ultimate goal is to get residents to pay a little bit more attention,” Sternbeck said.

Police are conducting extra patrols and surveillance to address the spike. Six people tied to multiple bike thefts have been arrested. Michael Cullen, 42, pleaded guilty this week to nine felony counts for stealing bicycles.

But, Sternbeck said, “it’s also a team effort.”

The police are encouraging residents to register their bicycles, which makes them easier to track. They recommend using U-locks at all times.

Clarendon is the hottest spot in Arlington for bike thievery, according to police, and Trek bikes are the brand stolen most often.

The warning comes as Metro officials report that thefts of smartphones and other electronic devices on the transit system also have spiked.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.


Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Show Comments
Most Read


Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Your Three. Video curated for you.

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.