The Grim Subject of Bike Theft
Have you ever had a bike stolen from you? I haven’t yet I’ve had plenty of other valuables taken from me over the years and I’ve been burglarized 3 times. Having something stolen from you is an awful feeling, second only to coming home to a door that you remember locking that morning but it’s now wide open…And you’re left wondering if the burglar is still inside.
To me stealing a person’s bike is like stealing their tools. To disrupt a persons’ ability to sustain themselves is utterly uncool. Steal my watch if you have to, if I owned one, but leave the bicycle.
Most of this is common sense but here are a few tips the former bike thief has for cyclists:
Cheap locks make bike theft easy.
If your bike is locked up and you notice you have a flat, walk it home if you have to, do not leave it. They will puncture a tire in hopes you will leave the bike for a longer period of time.
Use two locks, one on each wheel and frame.
Park/lock your bike in a well lit area where lots of pedestrians are present (yeah we have seen the videos of the guys in New York stealing bikes in broad daylight, in the middle of a crowd, but this is not New York).
In short, make stealing your bike a real hassle for a thief.
Most every bike has a serial number on it, usually on the bottom of the crank/frame. Write yours down. All of the valuable things ever stolen from me were recovered because I had serial numbers.
On a brighter note, if you’re in the Dallas area Bike Friendly Oak Cliff keeps a page dedicated to stolen bikes , so if yours turns up missing be sure and post the details there (in addition to calling the cops).
edit: I just noticed Ted at Commute By Bike has published an article by Jamie Carruthers about some of the better bike locks available. And Lock Your Bike.com has a nice article on, well, How to Lock Your Bike.