LOWER MANHATTAN — There's been a surge in Citi Bike thefts in Lower Manhattan, police said.
So far this year, 27 of the bright blue bikes have been stolen — in 2014, during the same time period, only one of the bikes was swiped, said 1st Precinct Commanding Officer Mark Iocco at a recent Community Council meeting.
The number of Citi Bikes stolen this year is also already more than double the total number of Citi Bikes snatched in 2014 — 13, police said.
Authorities could not give a reason for the spike. But police said that even if the missing bikes were found in other parts of the city, the bikes are considered stolen from Lower Manhattan if that's where they were last docked.
Last week, police arrested a man and a teenager in two separate Citi Bike thefts.
On May 28, at about 1 a.m., 37-year-old Corey Cooke was arrested after he was seen riding a Citi Bike on a sidewalk into Battery Park, which was closed at the time, police said. Police then found that the bike had been taken from a nearby docking station without being paid for.
Cooke pleaded guilty to petit larceny and was sentenced to three days in jail.
Police also arrested a 15-year-old on May 29 on the corner of Church and Barclay Streets at about 10:20 p.m. after they found the young man was on a stolen Citi Bike. He, too, was initially stopped for riding on a sidewalk, police said. The details of the teen's case are sealed because he's a minor.
Another young man reported his Citi Bike stolen last week, police said. The 18-year-old Brooklyn man said he left the bike alone outside of 125 Cedar St., for about five minutes on May 28. When he returned, at about 2:20 p.m., the bike was gone, police said.
Police were still investigating that theft as of Tuesday.
Citi Bike did not immediately return request for comment.