Pedestrians and motorists are not the only cause of concern for Saipan bikers nowadays, the thieves too.
Members of the biking community are alarmed over several stolen bike incidents that have been reported just as Saipan is about to host two of the biggest races on the island.
Samson Tan, who competed in both XTERRA and Tagaman races last year, was the most recent one to lose his bike to thieves. His Cannondale bike, Giant Boulder MTB, a pair of WTB wheel set, and other personal belongings were stolen in his home in Garapan last week. Tan posted in his FB account the picture of one of the bikes that was stolen and asked the community’s help for information that may lead to the recovery of the bikes.
The burglary incident was already reported to the Department of Public Safety. DPS, through its public information officer Travis Hurst, said in an email to Saipan Tribune that the incident and other reported stolen bikes cases are under investigation.
Besides Tan, a couple also lost three bikes parked at Pacific Islands Club Saipan last month. Two were later recovered, but some parts of the bikes are still missing. Late last month, a man lost his wheels in Garapan, as the thief failed to break his bike chain, according to MVA marketing manager Bruce Bateman, who is also a member of the island’s biking community. Bateman added a resident of Koblerville nearly lost his bikes early last month.
“They broke into his house but he had the bikes stored inside with a big boat chain and even though they sawed on the chain they couldn’t get through it so they stole his tools, etc.,” Bateman said.
The MVA marketing manager said these incidents are very alarming, especially now that Saipan is gearing up for the Tagaman Triathlon and XTERRA Saipan Championship, which will not only bring local bikers together, but also lure several off-island athletes.
“Sadly, it looks like someone is targeting bikes. That means someone is buying the bikes or the parts. That is the guy we need to find and put out of business. The thieves will stop stealing only when the buyer stops buying,” Bateman said.
Saipan Cyclers CNMI members also expressed concerns about the stolen bikes cases and they said they have to sit down and find ways how to prevent or lessen these unfortunate incidents.