CBC News Posted: Feb 26, 2014 7:11 PM ET Last Updated: Feb 26, 2014 7:11 PM ET
An investigation carried out by Radio-Canada’s Enquête program found that selling stolen bikes is big business in Montreal.
Every year about 20,000 bicycles are stolen on the island, but most victims never report the theft to police. For instance, in 2012, only 1,846 bike thefts were reported.
Philippe and Dominique, whose identity we are not revealing, track down bicycle thieves.
“There are thieves who prowl the night, searching in alleyways and backyards, and simply help themselves,” Philippe said.
It’s estimated that one of of two cyclists in Montreal has had his/her bike stolen at least once.
Re-selling bikes is big business in Montreal.
A number of unclaimed stolen bikes end up at municipal auctions.
Enquête spoke with a group of men who buy the bikes legally for a small price, and then sell them in their home country in Africa for four times as much.
“I’ve been doing this for 10 years,” one man told Enquête reporters.
The investigative program also found there were suspicious transactions taking place at L’Accueil Bonneau, a homeless shelter in Montreal, where one man bought several bikes last summer.
Similar situations are occurring in some parks or streets.
One Enquête employee was offered a bike for $40 — although it was worth $600.
The seller said he stole it about a month earlier near Cadillac metro station, in Montreal’s east end.