A group of Vancouver cyclists plan to create a web series called ‘To Catch a Bike Thief’ to chronicle their adventures as they attempt to recover GPS‐tracked bait bikes from real thieves. A trailer is already on YouTube and a pilot programme is planned for April.
The web series is intended to raise awareness about bike theft, promote discussion, and explore ways that individuals and communities can protect themselves against theft.
Broderick Albright, one of the members of the To Catch a Bike Thief team, said the team constructed their first bait bike in June 2011.
A GPS tracker in the bait bike has a vibration sensor that activates the tracker once the lock is cut. The tracker then broadcasts its real-‐time location every 10 seconds to a mapping server.
In the trailer for ‘To Catch a Bike Thief’, the team designated a “dispatcher” to coordinate with an intercept team via two‐way radios.
“GPS tracking gives our intercept team dispatch real-time response of the bait bike, and allows our team to develop a proper intercept strategy that is both safe and effective,” said Ingo Lou, producer of To Catch a Bike Thief.
“We want to make sure we have all the information we need before we go and intercept our bait bike after it’s been stolen.”
The crew hired security guards – on bicycles – to be on hand when confronting bike thieves.
"The security detail isn’t there to make arrests, but to observe, report and deter any potential violent behaviour to protect the intercept team," said Lou.
Series director, Kirsten Aubrey envisions a web series in which bicycle theft can be explored by a combination of GPS tracking and documentary-style filming.
She said: “I want to understand the big picture of bike theft, in order to help cyclists protect their bikes.”
Fund-raising for the web series will begin after the airing of the first episode and will likely take the form of a campaign on Kickstarter.com. $20,000 will fund the entire first series and with pledges of $100,000 a fleet of bait-bikes could be deployed across Vancouver.