Bicycle theft has been a problem for years, and is just as much a problem today. It is especially common around universities and other places that promote this easy and inexpensive form of transportation.
Nothing can guarantee your bicycle won't be stolen. No lock or storage facility is totally defensible to a thief that is committed and has the time, the right tools, and the desire to take your property. However, you can take some steps that will enhance the protection of your investment. Follow these tips and you will reduce the chance that your bike will be stolen.
Don't Make It Easy For A Thief To Steal Your Bicycle
Remember, thieves want something easy, and they don't want to get caught. Making it difficult for a thief won't necessarily stop them from stealing, but it will often make them pass you and your property by for something easier.
If You Are Not On It, Lock It
While this may seem like common sense, the fact is that many bikes that are stolen are not locked up. An unlocked bike is easy pickings for a criminal, and it can happen extremely fast. So even if you plan to be off your bicycle for only a few moments, it is prudent to lock it up. Many people have run inside just for a second only to return to find their bike gone. Remember this, if someone has enough time to approach and touch your bike, a thief has enough time to steal it.
Always lock you bike! Even at home. More bikes are stolen from homes than any other location.
How To Lock Your Bicycle
Purchase the best lock you can. Why trust your expensive bike to a cheap lock? Go to a bicycle shop and discuss the various locks with a professional. New locks are always coming out, so find out from someone what the best for your bike may be, and don't skimp on spending a few extra dollars. That's much less expensive than having to replace your bike.
When you lock your bike, secure both wheels and the frame to something that can't be moved or easily broken. Also make sure the bicycle can't be lifted off the object you lock it to. Check with your dealer regarding locks that are proven effective against bolt cutters.
Try to make sure it is locked up in a visible, well-lighted area. And don't lock your bike to itself. A thief can just take the entire bike and worry about removing the locks from the privacy of wherever he takes it.
Record Your Bike's Serial Number
While this won't keep a bike from being stolen, it can help in the recovery of it if it is. If for some reason your bike doesn't have a serial number, you can engrave something on the bicycle to make it easy to identify.
Register Your Bike
Register your bike in a national database. Professional thieves often sell stolen bikes in cities other than where they were stolen because of the difficulty in tracing and finding owners.
However, the National Bike Registry database is accessible to law enforcement throughout the country. No matter where a bike is stolen, or where it is recovered, the owner can be identified. The NBR Certificate of Registration can also be used as proof of ownership if your bike is recovered, or for an insurance claim if it is not found.
Keep Your Bike Safe
No one wants to lose their bicycle, but unfortunately, people lose them to thieves each day. And not just one or two people, but many people each day. I read where the National Bike Registry estimates that 1.5 million bicycles are stolen each year; the vast majority going unreported.
So keep your bike safe by following these simple tips to avoid bicycle theft.