Bike Theft on the Rise on Balboa Peninsula

Recently, Newport’s bike theft has seemingly been on the rise.  We’ve issued a Public Document Request Act submission to confirm the numbers, and we are still awaiting the results.  However, it’s worth reminding everyone to always lock your bikes up with something more than a standard coil lock.

A few years ago, my coil lock rusted out.  I used a simple wire snip to cut the cable in about 30 seconds.  Obviously, thieves have much more sophisticated tools than an old wire snip, allowing them to do this at a far more rapid pace.

U-Locks and chain locks are typically the highest rated, but even some of these can be overcome quickly and quietly by the more aggressive thieves, so please make sure you check the safety rating on each of the locks you choose, so you know what you are getting.  I personally purchased this lock– and it is heavy and pricey, but not nearly as pricey as a new bike, it definitely seems to do the job:

Bikes up and down the peninsula have been disappearing at a rapid clip. Part of the problem is the “Catch and Release” state in California, where bike thieves are brought in, cataloged, and let back out the same day.

To address this issue, we previously reached out to the Newport Beach Police Department with a generous donation offer, offering them bikes worth thousands of dollars to “Bait Bike” with, so that bike thieves could be caught with a “grand theft” charge.  For some reason, the police department– a department in our city which is already two billion dollars in debt— refused.

Back to the story at hand: Protect your bike.  As we were in the middle of writing a story about Bike Theft, longtime Balboa Peninsula resident Mike Wolfe actually reached out with his own personal story of theft: The bike in this very photo was stolen on Sunday morning.

From the owner, Mike Wolfe: I was having coffee this morning and I had my bike locked at the rack in front of PJ’s Surfrider. Just before 7, someone cut the lock and stole my bike. It’s a very recognizable bike and hard to miss. I know bikes are stolen all the time down here, but if you happen so see it (long shot, I know) please let me know.

If you see this bike, please call NBPD, and email Mike, the owner, at, or text me, Mike Glenn, on my cell, at 949.229.0096




About Mike Glenn

Mike is the founder and publisher of Save Newport and Chair of Government Relations for the Elks Lodge. He writes, shoots photos, and edits, but much of the time, he's just "the IT guy". He can be reached at: Google+, Facebook, or via email, at