Cease Bike Theft With These 6 Key Steps

Bike theft was a criminal offense of alternative. No extra. The COVID-powered bike boom is mutating the character of thefts right into a extra energetic and arranged affair.

Bike Index, a nationwide on-line bike registry, estimates that the variety of bikes stolen elevated by 24 p.c in 2020 in comparison with 2019. Over the identical interval, Seattle police reported a 54 p.c improve in thefts, whereas the Denver Police Division recorded a 26 p.c rise. In different jurisdictions, the variety of robberies hasn’t elevated that a lot, however the worth of the stolen bikes has. The 2 tendencies are associated.

“We’ve seen a giant improve in thefts within the final 12 to 24 months,” says Seth Wolins, the proprietor of Big Ring Cycles, a motorcycle store in Golden, CO. “It’s about provide and demand. As a result of the availability chain for brand new bikes is so damaged and the demand for bikes is up so sharply, the value of used bikes elevated 15 to 20 p.c within the final 12 months.”

The leap in worth is encouraging thieves to be choosier about what they steal, says Chris Winn, the schooling program coordinator at Bicycle Colorado, an advocacy nonprofit. Smarter criminals now know what manufacturers and fashions are value probably the most and are sleuthing on-line to search out them.

He’s heard about thieves trying on social media for footage of the fashions they need after which utilizing Strava and different monitoring apps to search out out the place the proprietor lives. And even following them residence from the trailhead or group journey.

“Thieves are going to the subsequent stage and placing all of it collectively,” says Winn. “It’s pushed by the actual fact these bikes are value 1000’s of {dollars}. That’s actual worth.”

One of the simplest ways to maintain a motorcycle secure, he says, is to not make it simple for the thieves. Right here’s how.

6 Steps to Protecting Your Bike

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1. Document the Serial Quantity

It’s normally discovered on the underside bracket of the bike. Register it with native police and a nationwide group like Bike Index after which take an image of your self together with your bike. These steps will make it simpler to reconnect with a journey. However the actuality is, “there’s a reasonably slim probability you’ll see a stolen bike once more,” says Winn. Thieves normally transfer them out of the world, and sometimes the state, earlier than promoting them.

2. Add Bike Insurance coverage

Dwelling and rental insurance coverage usually covers bikes, however with a big deductible and restricted payout. In case you have an costly journey, it’s most likely value including better bike coverage. And know that the majority insurance policies don’t cowl e-bikes; insurers contemplate them a motor vehicle.

3. Purchase a Good Lock

Go for a key lock over a mix: “It’s simple to smash a combo lock with a hammer,” says Wolins. U-locks, just like the Pitbull LS, are probably the most safe, however cables and chains are superb so long as they’re 1/Four inch or thicker, which calls for a specialty instrument to chop. “I don’t suppose greater and bulkier is essentially higher,” Wolins says. “All it’s essential do is current a stage of problem that implies it should take too lengthy to chop.”

4. Lock it Proper

Choose a shiny, well-lit space with common foot site visitors and plenty of different bikes. Lock it to a set object, via the body and the rear wheel, at a minimal. Take away any accoutrements like lights, baggage, and gear kits.

5. Go Darkish On-line

Cease posting footage of your bike on-line and in apps. On apps like Strava, flip off location monitoring or make your account non-public.

6. Safe It All of the Time

Whether or not it’s a fast cease on the best way residence from the paths or in your storage in a single day, bike thieves are working in all places, so safe your bike in all places and on a regular basis. “It sucks, nevertheless it solely takes seconds for them to seize it and be gone,” Winn says. “It’s a motorcycle house owners’ duty to maintain it secure.”

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