Stop bike theft with these 6 key steps

Bike theft used to be crime of opportunity. no more. Runs on the COVID system Bike boom It is transforming the nature of thefts into a more active and organized relationship.

Bike pointer, Which is a national online bike registry, estimates that the number of stolen bikes increased by 24 percent in 2020 compared to 2019. During the same period, Seattle police reported a 54 percent increase in thefts, while the Denver Police Department recorded a 26 percent increase in theft. Cent. In other jurisdictions, the number of robberies has not increased much, but the value of stolen bikes has increased. The two directions are related.

Says Seth Wallins, owner Big Circle Cycles, A bike shop in Golden, Colorado. “It’s about supply and demand. Because the supply chain for new bicycles is very disrupted and the demand for bicycles is soaring, the price of used bikes has increased by 15 to 20 percent in the past year.”

The jump in value encourages thieves to be more selective about what they steal, says Chris Wynn, Education Program Coordinator at Colorado bike, Which is a non-profit advocacy organization. The smarter criminals now know which brands and models are the most valuable and are spying on the Internet to find them.

He heard of thieves searching social media for pictures of the models they wanted and then using them diet And other tracking apps to find out where the owner resides. Or even follow them home from the road or group trip.

“The thieves will take it to the next level and put it all together,” says Wayne. “It’s driven by the fact that these bikes are worth thousands of dollars. This is a real value.”

He says the best way to keep the bike safe is not to make it easy for thieves. Here’s how.

6 Steps to Maintaining Your Bike

Bicycle thief steal MTB

1. Record the serial number

It is usually found on the bike’s underwire. Register it with the local police and a national group like Bike pointer Then take a picture of yourself with your bike. These steps will make it easy to reconnect with the journey. But the truth is, “there is very little chance that you will ever see a stolen bike again,” says Wayne. Thieves usually move them out of the area, often out of the country, before selling them.

2. Add bike insurance

Bicycles are often covered by home and rental insurance, but at a heavy discount and limited payment. If you have an expensive ride, it is probably worth the addition Better bike coverage. Be aware that most policies do not cover e-scooters; Insurance companies regard them as automatic cars.

3. Buy a good lock

Choose Key lock More than a group: “A combo lock is easy to shatter with a hammer,” says Woolens. U locks, like Pitbull LS, Are the safest, but cables and chains are fine as long as they are 1/4 inch or thicker, requiring a special tool for cutting. “I don’t think bigger and bigger is necessarily better,” says Woolens. “All you have to do is introduce a level of difficulty indicating that it will take a very long time.”

4. Right lock

Choose a bright, well-lit area with regular foot traffic and lots of other bikes. Mount it to something stationary, through the tire and the rear wheel, at least. Remove any tools such as lights, bags, and toolkits.

5. Go Dark Online

Stop posting pictures of your bike online and in apps. On apps like Strava, turn off location tracking or make your account private.

6. Secure them all the time

Whether it’s a quick stop-off on the way home from the driveways or in your garage overnight, bike thieves run everywhere, so secure your bike everywhere, all the time. “It’s annoying, but it only takes seconds for them to catch and go,” says Wayne. “It is the responsibility of the bike owners to keep them safe.”

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Written by Joseph

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