Bicycle enthusiasts start Facebook group to combat thefts

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Kendra Sollars had her bike stole but thanks to a network of bicyclists, she was able to get it back. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Kendra Sollars had her bike stole but thanks to a network of bicyclists, she was able to get it back. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
Lance Turner and a friend helped form BRAT, which helps find stolen bicycles. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Lance Turner and a friend helped form BRAT, which helps find stolen bicycles. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
"There's a counter-network to the thieves. There's a group out there trying to do something positive," Turner said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) "There's a counter-network to the thieves. There's a group out there trying to do something positive," Turner said. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

A group of passionate bicycle riders turned pseudo-vigilantes is working together to combat bike thefts here in the Valley. And their efforts have already brought four bikes back home. 

"I love the social aspect of it," said Kendra Sollars.

She loves the breeze through her hair when riding her bike, even when it's blistering hot out. 

"Even in the summer, and even in the winter when it does get cold in the evenings," Sollars said.

One night on a ride with friends, she locked her bike up with a few others. Someone cut the lock. 

"I was just shocked. Bikes get stolen so often but I really never thought it would happen to me," Sollars said.

She posted a picture of the bike on Facebook, and the bike community got to work. Someone spotted someone riding it. 

"We decided one night to all go out on our bikes and case the neighborhood and see if we saw the bike again," Sollars said.

They didn't have any luck that time, but someone else soon spotted the bike. They called the cops, and the rest is history. 

"It's so rare a stolen bike gets returned and they way it was returned was through friends, people I knew who live in the area who had their eye wide open looking for it," Sollars said.

"Myself and my friend Shamos decided we should start looking at maybe putting together a network of friends who would do this on a regular basis," said Lance Turner.

He said after he saw what the power of social media did for Sollars, he and Shamos formed BRAT, or the Bicycle Recovery Action Team. Now, they're several hundred strong. 

"All we do is list stolen bikes. It's all we permit on the page," Turner said. "If you have a bike stolen and you need help in the recovery of the bike, you can go there and provide a picture and any information you have."

Turner said they want to start adding bike shops, bike mechanics, and others to their network to give their fellow riders peace of mind. 

"There's a counter-network to the thieves. There's a group out there trying to do something positive," Turner said.

"You can help someone get back something they really love," Sollars said.

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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