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Stolen kids bikes latest in series of bold Billings crimes

Stolen kids bikes
Posted at 7:53 AM, May 05, 2022

BILLINGS — In the last year, 136 bikes have been reported stolen in Billings, and police say they really start to see a rise once the calendar flips to May.

Two Magic City kids are the latest victims this week, but their parents are worried the thefts represent a bigger problem.

"She parked it right here, right Selena?" Gerald Gutierrez asked his daughter while standing in their backyard Wednesday.

The two were pointing out where Selena parked her bike earlier this week before it was stolen. It's the second time Selena's bike has been stolen this year, and the family was even home this time.

"They have no fear of coming into your yard and taking your property when you’re home," Gerald said. "It’s pretty scary."

"It's not like they’re out on the sidewalk or near the street - they walked on to my property," said Carol Russell.

Russell’s daughters put their bikes back in the corner of their yard right next to the house Tuesday. By the time Russell came home from an errand, both were gone.

"In a matter of two hours, from maybe 7-9 p.m.," she said.

Stolen bike low angle
Carol Russell got one of her daughter's bikes back the day after two were stolen from their yard, but one remains to be seen.

Russell found one herself about a block away Wednesday morning, but the other is still nowhere to be seen. It’s the latest in a string of bold crimes that hint at thieves not worrying about consequences.

"Especially if they think it’s something little," Russell said. "But to a kid, their bike’s not little - it’s the world to them at that moment."

"I was pretty bummed out," Selena said when she found out her bike was gone again. "But my amazing dad bought me this new bike."

Complete with a shiny new lock.

"It really scares me. I don’t want this bike to get stolen because people can cut this (lock)," Selena said.

She's right. Billings police said they’ve seen an increase in locks cut this year.

Gerald is more worried about the crime escalating.

"If they’re coming into my yard, what’s next? They’ll come into my house?" he asked. "Because that’s not going to work for me, or them. I'll protect my family."