Metro police increase bike patrols to combat car break-ins - WNEM TV 5

Metro police increase bike patrols to combat car break-ins

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Metro police are taking a different approach to fighting a type of crime they say is downright frustrating. No matter how carefully drivers are locking up their vehicles, thieves are still finding a way in.

Police are constantly having to come up with new ways to combat the crime, and they're now doing it with bicycles.

Typically, Sgt. Mike Thomas oversees West Precinct's student resource officers, but Monday he saddled up on two wheels.

The precinct is ramping up its bike patrol unit, putting more officers through cycling training and assigning more to each shift. During the fall break for Metro Schools, all of the SROs were on bike patrol.

"We look at the areas, statistics, hotspots, and we get into the areas where we're visible," Thomas said.

They are focusing on car break-ins - a frustrating crime of opportunity that is easy to commit.

"They're going to smash a window, open a door, take it out that quick and be gone," Thomas said.

But on bikes, the officers can blend in and be stealthy.

"People don't see us, and we can literally sneak up on them," Thomas said.

Plus, they're better able to get the word out about how to keep crooks out.

"If we see someone getting out of their car, we'll tell them, 'Hey, you may want to put that stuff out of sight,'" Thomas said. "The visibility is priceless, because if one person sees us and gets word to other people, and they know we're out there, then they are going to stay away from that area."

The student resource officers say their ability to interact with kids outside of school also helps in another way. The kids recognize the officers and get the message that just because they aren't in school, doesn't mean the police aren't watching.

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