WATCH: ‘Non-conventional’ suspect behind Coal Harbour bike theft

Surrey’s Emil Nowoszewski was out for a nice bike ride on the Sea Wall with his wife last Saturday when they decided to make a stop at Cardero’s Restaurant in Coal Harbour.

They locked their bikes to a railing at the front of the restaurant and went inside to have lunch for about 45 minutes. When they were ready to continue on their journey, Nowoszewski realized his bike was missing.

Nowoszewski reported the incident to the Vancouver Police and asked Cardero’s for surveillance footage of the theft, which took him by surprise.

WATCH: A new video shows just how quick and daring bike thieves can be. Aaron McArthur shows you what was caught on camera.

“I was a little shocked. We thought it was some young kid or a homeless guy,” says Nowoszewski. “But it turned out to be a regular looking guy. He looks like everybody else out there.”

In the surveillance video, a grey-haired man, whose face is obscured, can be seen approaching Nowoszewski’s bike. He is wearing a dark blue backpack, black tank top, grey cargo pants and white runners. He then takes about 27 seconds to cut the lock, hide it in his backpack and ride away with the bike without raising any suspicion.

Nowoszewski thinks the man may have watched them go in to the restaurant and specifically targeted his bike.

Emil Nowoszewski standing next to his bike (the black one on the left), just an hour before it was stolen in Coal Harbour on May 14, 2016.

Courtesy: Emil Nowoszewski

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Nowoszewski says, after seeing his $500 bike stolen so easily, he now plans to buy a better bike lock.

“That’s a lesson learned,” he says. “We don’t go Downtown often, but you don’t exactly expect guys walking around with bolt cutters, cutting locks. It was a great day and it ended on a sour note. I just want people to be vigilant out there and watch what they are doing.”

Constable Brian Montague with Vancouver Police says bike theft is committed by opportunists as much as by more organized individuals or groups.

“Criminals come in all shapes, sizes and appearances and you can’t judge a book by its cover,” says Montague.

“A successful thief is one that goes unnoticed. If they blend in with their environment by looking like a tourist, shopper, beach-goer, or student there is less risk of getting noticed and caught. We ask that everyone use a good quality bike lock, lock it properly to something appropriate and that if anyone sees something suspicious, call 9-1-1 immediately.”

VPD’s Log It or Lose It campaign encourages everyone to record the serial numbers of their bikes, and other property, so it can easily be returned if recovered. You can also register your bike with the Project 529 bike registry for free.

record the serial number of your bikeinvest in a good quality lock and use it every time you leave your bike unattendedlock it properly to a bike rack or other secure place

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