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Project Underway To Identify Hottest Spots For Bike Theft In Philadelphia

By Steve Tawa

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - A project just about completed is identifying the hottest spots where bicycles are stolen in Philadelphia. They're happening on routes where there is the most traffic -- on the Penn campus, around City Hall and the Temple campus.

Tyler Dahlberg is the guy driving the data on a fellowship with the Center City-based Azavea, a software-development company whose motto is "Beyond dots on a map."

He says in the last six years, police data shows more than 10,700 bicycles with a total value of nearly $4 million were reported stolen in Philadelphia. He is crafting an interactive map that pinpoints where and when bikes are disappearing.

"You're about 15-times more likely to have your bicycle stolen from the blocks between 37th and 39th and Spruce and Market Streets."

The Bicycle Coalition's John Boyle wants to help folks get their stolen bikes back, by noting and retaining their bike's serial number.

"Look under their downtube," Boyles says. "Most bicycles have an ID number, or serial number, for that specific bike.'

Last year, an average of 160 bikes were stolen each month in Philadelphia.

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