ADELANTO — The Silver Lakes and Spring Valley Lake associations donated about $7,500 to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Victor Valley Station to buy a trailer to field a bike unit in the local lake communities and Adelanto.

The Mojave Air Quality Management District donated fully equipped bicycles for deputies to use on patrol. The Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funded patrol operations for the city of Adelanto.

Members of each party gathered at the Victor Valley Station on Thursday afternoon to unveil the trailer and bicycles.

A wave of petty thefts and auto thefts inspired Deputy Dana Weinberg to approach the Silver Lakes Association about a bike patrol in the Helendale planned community. SLA donated $5,000.

“It started off initially when Deputy Weinberg came to us with the idea of doing bike patrol,” said Skip Hall, Silver Lakes board president. “So we took it to the membership and came back with an overwhelming yes. When it was decided by the board, it was a unanimous 7-0 vote to support funding for the bike trailer.”

Weinberg felt there was a need to have a citizen-friendly approach, as opposed to being in a patrol car. The bikes will be more effective at nabbing robbers who watch for vehicle headlights while committing a crime. The cycles will also come in handy during public gatherings, officials said.

“We’ve had some petty theft and some cars being broken into,” Hall said. “This would be a perfect way to sneak up on thieves when they’re looking around for headlights on cars. It’s petty crime that we have right now (and) we want to take care of it.”

The Spring Valley Lake Association hosts various events throughout the year and also felt the need for a bike unit. The SVLA gave about $2,500.

“We have some major events coming up in Spring Valley,” said Jeff Morgan, president of the SVLA Board of Directors. “The Fourth of July fireworks display, the Family Festival and Halloween, where there is a large gathering of people around the recreational area of the beach.”

Victor Valley Station Captain Phil Brown said patrolling is important, but bicycle safety education as another crucial aspect of the program.

Brown and Weinberg plan to coordinate with local businesses to put together “bike rodeos.” They are looking for funds to give away helmets and other safety equipment for children, and they plan to teach bicycle pedestrian safety.

Due to scarce resources, station officials are still uncertain of when and how often bicycle units will be on patrol.

“There is not a lot of overtime funding for the lake areas because they are county areas,” Weinberg said. “We’re going to be out there as much as we can, four to six hours a day on a weekend. We have (the Spring Valley Lake) event calendar and will be there for Fourth of July, Labor Day and Halloween.”

Source: Jose Quintero, Staff Writer,