Police have started using a new device that will help catch bike thieves in Gulfport.
Road bikes can be really expensive, costing thousands of dollars.
“It starts at $2,500 and you add all the accessories so it’s more than I paid for a car 20 years ago,” said Bruce Hawes, cyclist.
With that in mind, there are a lot of unhappy people in Gulfport. Property crime, specifically bike thefts, is way up.
“Criminals know it's low hanging fruit,” said Lieutenant Josh Stone, Gulfport Police Department.
So the Gulfport Police Department is setting the bait by abandoning bikes around town. Each bike is equipped with a secret GPS monitoring device attached to them.
When the bike moves, it sends a text message to the officers letting them know someone is riding it.
The officers can then track that bike second by second.
“Dispatch officers to the location where the bike is to locate it, and capture the person on the bike,” said Lieutenant Stone.
It’s a new cutting edge way to catch bike thieves, and it has the attention of Gulfport regulars.
“You gotta weed a garden, you gotta find out who’s doing what and you get rid of those few weeds -- it’ll be a great community, and it is a great community,” said David Floyd, Gulfport resident.
Stealing a bike may seem like a minor offense, but police said if they catch someone stealing one of these expensive two wheelers they could be looking at felony charges.
Gulfport police is the only local department using the GPS tracking device. The department just started using it Friday and has yet to make an arrest.