VICTORIA -- Three men were arrested Thursday after the Victoria Police Department shut down a “bicycle chop shop” near Beacon Hill Park.

Police located the stolen bike operation after planting a so-called bait bike in the Topaz Park area.

The police department outfits all bait bikes with tracking equipment and identification technology to allow officers to follow the bicycles if they are stolen.

The bait bike in Topaz Park was quickly stolen, allowing officers to follow the item to the chop shop near Beacon Hill Park.

At the site, police located “numerous stolen bikes” and arrested one alleged bike thief.

Two other bait bikes that were planted throughout the city Thursday were also stolen, resulting in the arrests of two more alleged bike thieves.

All three investigations remain ongoing at this time.

Police are asking that community members keep an eye out for suspicious activity as property crimes increase during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Any information on property crimes, like thefts or break-ins, can be reported to VicPD at 250-995-7260.