Eugene Police Property Crimes Unit detectives were out again with the Bait Bike on January 14 and into the early hours of January 15. It was a productive night in West Eugene with three bikes stolen, two of which were taken from the area in vehicles.
The theft of a bike can hit someone hard, especially if it took their last penny to buy it or it is their main means of transportation. The Bait Bike stings are a way to help deter the thefts in Eugene. EPD Property Crimes Unit detectives have placed a changing supply of bait bikes at various locations in the city to combat the problem and arrest those who are responsible.
EPD PCU arrested the first suspect, Darrion Dee Mulka, age 49, when he took the bike from in front of a grocery story and quickly loaded it into a friend's panel van. The two then moved from one side of the parking lot to the other for several minutes before finally driving away. Three people were contacted in the van and Mulka was cited for Theft in the Second Degree. Case 21-00767
Another suspect, Joshua Allen Arms, age 42, of Eugene, jumped on the bike and road it away from a local market. Once he was away, he loaded it into his jeep and drove away. He was contacted along with Hattie Alice Drumm, age 31, of Eugene, who had warrants. Both were lodged at Lane County Jail. Arms was charged with Theft in the Firt Degree. Drumm was charged with her warrant and Possession of Methamphetamine Prior Felony Conviction. 21-00774 and 21-00778
Most of the team was tied up at the stop of Arms and Drumm when another suspect, Andres Varillas-Chavez, age 32, of Eugene, took the bike from the grocery store and rode away. He was cited for Theft in the Second Degree. 21-00776
EPD Community Engagement Team offers these prevention tips:
Proper locking, bike registration, and theft reporting are key elements in combating bike theft.
A great first step to take is documentation. It is critical to document your serial number, take a photo and register your bicycle.
Though registration does not protect your bicycle from being stolen, it drastically increases your chances of recovery.In addition, register your stolen bike with Greater Eugene Area Riders (GEARs) https://eugenegears.org/bike-registration/. GEARs uses Bike Index to send out alerts of stolen bikes and provides a publicly searchable database to help people identify and avoid buying a stolen bike. Post the bike as stolen in the bike section of Craigslist. If you receive a tip or info, contact police, 541-682-5111 for the incorporated area of Eugene. Please do not attempt to recover the bike on your own.
Equally important as registration is the use of a quality U-lock and cable lock. No lock is undefeatable, but U-locks used along with cable locks, will provide much better protection than a cable lock alone. Many of the bicycle thefts reported to EPD involve no lock being used, or only a cable lock. Cable locks can be easily cut and do not provide adequate protection. The website link above also provides examples of how to properly lock your bicycle.
VIDEO: Crime Prevention Acting Supervisor Jeff Blonde – Bike Theft Prevention
If your bike is stolen in Eugene, report it immediately to EPD. Be sure to provide specific details about your bike, including critical information such as the serial number. You can file a report by calling our non-emergency number at 541-682-5111 or online at: http://ceapps.eugene-or.gov/epdcoplogic/.