Friday, March 29, 2013

Bicycle Theft Prevention

As we enter warmer months more and more bicycles will be hitting the streets.  Bicycle safety is a topic for another blog or another time. Check out for tons of information on safety issues and driving your bike.  What I would like to address tonight is the prevention of bicycle theft.  This in some respects is a very basic concept.  In some cities and communities bicycle theft is one of the most prevalent crimes on the daily crime report.  Why is this?  In some places like the jersey shore towns near me it has to do with a lack of awareness of the problem combined with a lack of security on the part of bike owners. Simple concept warning:  Don't leave the bike unattended without some type of security device in place.

Some other recommendations:
  1.      Secure the bicycle inside a building whenever possible.  Bicycles left on the lawn, standing by the garage, or loose in front of the local convenience store will disappear in seconds.
  2.      Use a good quality lock AND secure the bike to a strong metal object.  See the SFBike website for some excellent recommendations on securing your bicycle.
  3.     Record the make, model, and serial number of your bicycle so that it can be returned to you should it be stolen and recovered.  My police department recovered at least 100 bicycles every year but had no way of returning them since the owners either did not have serial numbers when they were reported stolen, or they never reported the theft.  I once recovered a $2500 mountain bike.  The owner had recorded the serial number but the local police department, not mine, entered the number incorrectly into NCIC.  I was only able to locate the owner through a bike shop decal that was on the down tube.  When I called the shop they knew right away who owned the bike because they had only sold one of that make and model.
  4.      If available register your bike with your local police department and display the registration sticker prominently.  This will help in recovery. 

Although have have ridden bicycles for most of my life for thousands of miles.  I have never had one stolen.  this is not luck.  It comes from following these basic prevention tips.

Thank you,

Frank Plunkett