A Vancouver cyclist is sounding the alarm about a weakness in certain bike racks that at least one thief has already learned how to exploit.

Mitch Khan’s wife Anita parked her bike outside Waterfront Station Monday at a typical bike rack consisting of a thick metal frame and several triangular bars.

She used an expensive u-shaped lock, a style considered more secure than chains and cables because of its resistance to bolt-cutters.

But because of where she attached it, the quality of the lock didn’t matter.

“We locked it up to the thick part of the [rack],” Khan said. “When we came back two hours later, it was gone.”

It turns out a thief had pulled one side of the rack right out of the cement and simply slid the bike off, lock and all.

“I never thought I would have to worry about the integrity of the bike rack,” Khan said.

The rack was designed to have bikes locked to its triangular bars, but the couple had reason to doubt their security, too. Several triangles have already been pried off different racks in the area, presumably by bike thieves.

There were 1,839 bikes stolen from Vancouver last year, but police said as far as they know, this is the first case ever of a bike rack being yanked out of the ground.

“20 years as a police officer, I guess nothing surprises me anymore. Thieves will go to great lengths to take something that they want,” Const. Brian Montague said.

Khan said the racks, which are on private property and not owned by the city, would be better protected if they had more than one bolt on each side. Another simple fix would be to weld the bolts to the nuts.

“One way or another, the racks need to be secured to the ground,” Khan said.

The City of Vancouver said its racks are heavier and have two theft-resistant bolts on each side.

With a report from CTV British Columbia’s Shannon Paterson