Bike Security Theft Prevention/Recovery

Discussion in 'Stolen Bicycles & Security' started by Tyler6357, Sep 14, 2012.

  1. Tyler6357

    Tyler6357 Member

    I've been reading about all the bikes that have gotten stolen and it really ****es me off! I thought I would post some tips to help members here from getting your MB stolen or to help you get it back if it is. Some of this is just common sense but there might be something here you haven't thought of that might help.

    Bike theft is unfortunately common. MBs are different and are more prone to theft than regular bikes. No bike can be fully theft proof, but we can do several things to make stealing it more difficult and riskier to the thief. Other things you can do will increase your likelihood of getting your bike back. There are no guarantees, and you need a little luck, but here's how you can maximize your chance of getting lucky.

    First, it goes without saying but to reduce the risk of theft, make sure you use a good lock, secure the various parts of your bike together, and lock up to a good rack or alternative object. It's not a bad idea to use locking skewers to protect the seat and wheels, locking the frame directly to some immoveable metal using a solid u-lock, and parking in strategic locations. LoJacks for bicycles are avaiable but expensive.

    Obviously, we'd all rather make sure our bike is never stolen but you won't always be able to park your bike in a secure garage or inside your residence. Regardless of how careful you are, given enough time and the right tools, any bike can be stolen. There are several important things you can do before your bike is stolen to aid in its recovery later.

    Know your serial number. Most bikes have a sticker with the serial number on the underside of the down tube (long diagonal tube that is part of the main frame). If yours isn't there, check over the entire frame until you find it. If your bike isn't labeled with a serial number, call the store where it was bought and check whether they have it. You'll want this information available on a moment's notice since it's helpful to include in a police report or NBR. Keep it stored on your phone so you will have it for the cops as soon as possible. Also, keep a good clear picture of your bike stored on your phone so if it get ripped off you can show the police what it looks like and it can be included in the police report. If you customed your frame simply make up your own serial number and dremel or stamp it on your frame.

    Fill out the paperwork. Do all the paperwork with your lock manufacturer and comply with their directions. Most major lock manufacturers (OnGuard, Kryptonite, etc) have some sort of anti-theft guarantee in which they will cut you a check for the worth of your bike if it is stolen and you can prove that the theft involved the defeat of their correctly employed lock. The rules of these programs are very precise and often require advance registration. Make sure to register and comply exactly with all the instructions. If you do, it will significantly improve the likelihood of their honoring the guarantee if your bike is stolen.

    Leave identifying marks. You can engrave information on expensive parts to help prevent theft, but even sneakier is to leave a note with your info in the seat tube. A bike thief will rarely ever look there and should the thief or a future owner take it to a bike shop, the shop might very well find the note.

    If your bike falls prey to a thief despite your best efforts, take a few steps to reduce your losses and increase the chance you'll get it back.

    File a police report. This will be essential to later making a homeowners insurance, renters insurance or bike lock insurance claim (many companies that sell bike locks offer an anti-theft guarantee).

    Check Craigslist and Backpage. Go to Craigslist and search for your bike using terms like the make, model and style of bike. You might very well find someone trying to sell it very quickly. If you can determine that it is your bike, get in touch with the person selling it and arrange a time to meet. Contact the Police Dept. for assistance in recovering it and apprehending the thief or person who has received stolen property.

    If your search doesn't turn up your bike, locate the RSS in the lower right-hand corner of Craigslist and set up a search feed. This way you won't have to actively monitor CL and will only get relevant listings. Don't set your search too narrowly, such as "Specialized Sequoia Comp 54cm," or else you may miss out if the bike thief doesn't know enough to list your bike with such detail. Stick with more general search terms even if it means extra ads to sort through.

    Register your bike as stolen. For 99 cents you can list your bike in the National Bike Registry as stolen. Then if your bike is recovered, police in any jurisdiction can determine that it is yours and notify you. Who knows, one day, four years later you might get a call out of the blue that your bike had been recovered.

    Notify bike shops. Make up a flyer to send to local bike shops with as much identifying information you can think of. Include the make, model, color, serial number, any parts you've put on it, and your emergency contact info as well as a photo. If a similar bike comes in, the shop can check the serial number and help reunite you if it is your bike.

    Most bike mechanics hate bike theft and will be happy to look out for your bike. What's more, mechanics tend to have good memories for bikes since they see so many and are experts. As a result, they may see the bike on the street, remember your flyer and notify you.

    Tell your friends and your "Internet friends." Let as many of your friends and colleagues as possible know that your bike has been stolen. Use social media to spread the word. Wherever you have a following, let them know to look out for your bike. And of course, post it in this section.

    If you find it, lock it. If you happen to see your bicycle around town and it is locked and unattended, use your own lock to secure it and call the police. If the thief comes back before the cops get there try to resist the urge to smash his face in, as hard as that may be, the cops might arrest you when they get there if you do.

    Keep an Eye Out. Recovery is based on the amount of eyes out there looking for it. Remember we are all in this together. Like I said, MBs are more prone to theft than other bikes because of their value and, lets face it, when you see one, you want it! Please please please scan this website and others for stolen bikes so you can keep your eye out for those who have lost theirs because one day it might be yours!!

    Bike theft is frustrating, but with a little effort, you can reduce your risk and increase your chances of recovering your ride. Good Luck to everyone!

  2. jaguar

    jaguar Well-Known Member

  3. zwebx

    zwebx Member

    put a "rape" alarm on the bike and glue it to the ground where it is hard to see
    it would make anyone drop the bike and run away
  4. V 35

    V 35 Member

    Great advice, I wish bike shops had your summary posted for all to see . In addition, I'd suggest hiding a copy of your driver's
    license somewhere on the bike, and stamping some ID numbers [ phone # ] on engine cases . Paint your gas tank a distinctive
    color, or frame color . Painted parts often get spray bombed over, and fine details still have ' your ' color .