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The Grim Subject of Bike Theft

Submitted by on January 7, 2011 – 9:52 am8 Comments

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.

I was reading this article about a former bike thief on the Guardian’s Green Living Blog that brought up a few good points.

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).

– Chris

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.

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Chris started riding a bike again when he noticed the Preston Ridge Trail being constructed across the street from his house. Since then he co-founded Biking in Dallas, has gone through countless Craigslist bike projects (some better than others) and can be found pedaling around town on a Electra Ticino with a camera in tow.

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