It’s the season of giving, but for some living along the beach, alleged bike thieves are taking the holiday cheer.
Residents of condo buildings on Hollywood Beach say bike thefts are happening far too often. In surveillance video NBC 6 exclusively obtained, a man is seen checking out the bikes inside what residents say should be a secure area. Residents say the man then uses a bolt cutter to slice through the lock and then calmly takes the bike and heads off.
“People are stealing bicycles at will," Jimmy Marshall said. "It’s happening to a lot of people."
Marshall used to love the rides along the beach and boardwalk until the day his bike was stolen.
“I came back and found my bicycle gone," he said. There’s no video of my bicycle, so I started investigating and there’s plenty of video of other people stealing bicycles."
Marshall said the problem has been going on for more than a year but has intensified. A video he has shows someone coming to check out which bikes would be worth taking.
“Well, there’s the four buildings here in this complex and there’s the building to the south, according to Hollywood Police Department, they have been experiencing this quite some time," he said.
Kevin Luethy's bike — which cost him $725 — was taken a few weeks ago. The five high-rise buildings are full of residents who use the bikes for more than just fun. The parking in the area is tough, so many ride bikes for errands or to a nearby job.
“The cost of these bicycles — these weren’t inexpensive bicycles that they were stealing, and they knew what they were doing,” Marshall said. “All these bikes were locked up. All of them were surveyed with security cameras.”
Marshall says many times the thefts aren't reported, as some victims think it's too much hassle.
Hollywood Police made one arrest earlier this year. The detective handling these bike thefts wasn’t available Monday to prove details on the investigation. The management company that oversees the multiple buildings in the area did not return NBC 6's request for comment.