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  1. #1
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    Bicycle Thieves aren't just kids

    Here's a good article on how bicycle crooks are not just kids but adults.

    http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/Winnip...65877-sun.html

    The article states how adults were stealing a new bike locked to a bike rack. Sound similar? There must be millions of bikes stolen from racks each year and I suspect this is the most common location of theft in the country. The discussion questions on other silly methods regrading bicycle security like cages. How about this one. Don't Use Bike Racks.

    The only time I can remember my bike being vandalized by crooks wanting to steal it was when I used a bike rack. In fact, the only time I've witnessed bike theft was on bike racks. Lets fact the facts, bike racks are a bad idea whose time has come and gone. It used to be safe to park your bike to these devices back in 1905 but not in 2005! I can see someone locking their rusted $50.00 Huffy to these racks but the educated cyclist does not park anything of value outside in plain view of other crooks. I do not consider these bike crooks who use racks to be cyclist and that is the problem.

    The solution to this problem is very easy. Hide the bike, don't use bike racks and use an industrial lock.

  2. #2
    H23
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    Drug addicts will steal or try to steal literally anything.

    There are, so I hear, bike theft rings that focus on fine stuff but by far your typical thief is a pathetic drug addict.

    Its not like in the movies....

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by H23
    Drug addicts will steal or try to steal literally anything.

    There are, so I hear, bike theft rings that focus on fine stuff but by far your typical thief is a pathetic drug addict.

    Its not like in the movies....
    Good movie.

    We used to have a trolley like that and it ran though the center of town. We have a lightrail today but people are amazed at how useful and efficient they really are. The road could be full of cobble stone and dirt but the lightrail/trolley run on smooth rails. Much more comfortable than a bus.

    Back to the article. My point regarding the article was simple. The problem of bike theft comes from the rack more than anything else. If you avoid the bike rack, you'll avoid 95% of the problems regarding theft.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Crazy Cyclist's Avatar
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    I read that article in the paper. I occasionally use a bike rack, like when I go to the library, there is nothing else to lock my bike up to, what I hate about these racks are you can only lock up one wheel, which means the rear wheel is open to theft.

    What movie was that by the way?

  5. #5
    H23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Cyclist
    ...
    What movie was that by the way?
    "The Bicycle Thief"

    A classic film from Italy in the 1950's. Its about an unemployed father who finally gets a job as a movie-poster-man. His transport is a bicycle. On the first day of work his bike is stolen. He and his son try desparately to find the bicycle. In the end....

    I won't tell you the end.

    Basically, its a beautifully made film about class struggle.

  6. #6
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    Luckily in most cities, in melbourne australia in my case, its safe to park your bike at all times, EXCEPT FOR NIGHT.
    All the bad stuff really does happen at night, all the drunks, and bad teenagers would not pass up a chance to show off to their friends how they can smash your bike with a rock or something.
    This is my Blanket rule. day safe, night theft.

  7. #7
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    Crooks go where the bikes are. If you lock to a rack, that's where they attack your bike. If you lock to a parking meter, that's where they attack. I knew a young lady with three mega-buck bikes. She liked to brag about them to strangers she met in bars and clubs. Her apartment was broken into repeatedly, and her bikes stolen. Crooks go where the bikes are.

    In my town, some Pro's were cruising neighborhoods of half million dollar homes on week-ends. Folks would leave their garage doors up while running errands, or while taking ONE of their bikes out for a ride. These guys would run into the garages, grab the mega-buck bikes (Cannondales were too "low class" for that neighborhood) throw them in the van, and drive off. Crooks go where the bikes are.

  8. #8
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    The solution is to convince lawmakers to rewrite the laws so any "vehicle" stolen is automatically grand theft.

    What that will accomplish is it will give the police actual incentive to catch these guys, since the fines that result after all is said and done is quite high. So it means they will actually make money by catching thieves, which was why they never cared in the first place was it was unprofitable for them to spend their time working on a bike theft when a simple traffic ticket brings in more revenue.

    I'm not trying to say anything bad about police here, it's just how it is viewed from my perspective....Jack up the charges...that will give the cops incentive to spend time on it, as well as give a potential crook a big reason to not do it, and ensure those that do get caught have so much more time where they cannot steal again.

  9. #9
    Specialized Member ChAnMaN's Avatar
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    but what do they do with them? is there some kinda of highpaying underground market for stolen bicycles? i mean, any real cyclist who wanted a nice bike would go to a bikeshop...so who buys all these nice bikes from the crooks?
    You can never be too Specialized
    Click here if any of the following apply to you:
    1 You dont like Specialized, 2 You drive a SUV, 3 Your name is George Bush

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChAnMaN
    but what do they do with them? is there some kinda of highpaying underground market for stolen bicycles? i mean, any real cyclist who wanted a nice bike would go to a bikeshop...so who buys all these nice bikes from the crooks?
    A lot of people want nice things but aren't nice people. Some people may not realize that they are buying hot property, some may not realize because subconciously it is easier to not know, and many just don't care.

    When I was younger I worked a lot of retail. We caught boosters all the time. At least half of them were well dressed, intelligent(ish) people that would just rather steal than pay. Many of them were teenagers with more money in their pockets than I had in mine.

    *******************************************************

    Several years ago I had a friend that lost over 250 pounds when he was around 20 years old. He bought himself a Cannondale mountain bike to reward himself. It was also his only means of transportation. He lived in a small apartment near an university and locked his bike with a U lock at night to a 4 x 4 support post that held up the deck of the apartment above. He knew it was risky, but the bike was a yard from his bedroom window and about 4 feet from his head when he slept and he thought he would hear anyone on his porch. He woke one morning to find a six inch section of the post missing along with his bike. He slept like a baby.

    I had another female friend that used to ride one of those big trikes. She had rods in her back and lots of other health problems and couldn't drive a car or ride a regular bike. Some bangers in her neighborhood stole her locked trike from her back yard and proceded to ride it around the area right in plain site. She and her boyfriend went down to ask them if they would return it and got shot at for their troubles. The little jerks didn't steal it to sell it, and it certainly wasn't "cool" like a high end bike, they basically stole it because they could.

    Keep your serial numbers recorder and mark as many parts of the bike as possible. I knew another person that got their bike back because they had written some ID info on a index card and stuffed it up the seat post. When the police found the bike, which had been reported stolen, they asked the guy to prove it was his. He pulled the card out, the cops laughed, and the other "owner" got charged.
    Paul the Alloy Addict

  11. #11
    Chronic Tai Shan ofofhy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by catatonic
    The solution is to convince lawmakers to rewrite the laws so any "vehicle" stolen is automatically grand theft.
    Just ride a $3k bike...
    From Craig's List: IF its a singlespeed that means----all the other parts are broken cut off and dumped...dont buy singlespeeds, the bikes will make your balls fall off

    * no -- it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

  12. #12
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    There is no real logic to bike theft.

    You could put out a $2k road bike out for the hard rubbish collection and no one would talke it for weeks, but chain up a $75 direct-import sub-Huffy and people will saw through a parking sign to steal it.

  13. #13
    Biking Belle biketownblogger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by alanbikehouston
    In my town, some Pro's were cruising neighborhoods of half million dollar homes on week-ends. Folks would leave their garage doors up while running errands, or while taking ONE of their bikes out for a ride. These guys would run into the garages, grab the mega-buck bikes (Cannondales were too "low class" for that neighborhood) throw them in the van, and drive off. Crooks go where the bikes are.

    I used to deliver a semi-rural suburban paper route for about 4 years. I was amazed at how many of these people left their 3 car garages open all night long! Often they would leave bikes right out on the lawn. They think they are not really in the "city", therefore are lax about locking anything. During a rash of burglaries, the cops on my route asked me to watch for anything suspicious. Never saw a thing, and when they were caught, the cops told me it was because the theives were watching ME. The route was virtually the same every night and they were smart enough to track where I was and when, over a 40 mile square area, to avoid being seen. Even after I swapped stops around a bit, they figured it out. I once delivered to a home where the trunk of the car was left open and light on, with $4,000. luggage and property inside. Nothing like posting a big red flashing sign "Take it, it's free!"

  14. #14
    Ridin' a Long Time.
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    I agree. It must be so easy to steal a bike from any rack. I put mine in my hatchback when I have to take it somewhere. It's inconvenient and a bit hard on my back but after I take the front wheel off, it's not bad. I'm sure that bicycle theft must be an increasing problem because my guess is they're the easiest thing of any value to steal. And if someone is a professional thief, it would be quite simple. So I'm always looking for a better solution. Guess we all are.

  15. #15
    Dog is my co-pilot 2manybikes's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChAnMaN
    but what do they do with them? is there some kinda of highpaying underground market for stolen bicycles? i mean, any real cyclist who wanted a nice bike would go to a bikeshop...so who buys all these nice bikes from the crooks?
    Who checks serial numbers when they buy a used bike? I never thought of it, it would not do much good anyway.

  16. #16
    Senior Member Lord Chambers's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dahon.Steve
    Don't Use Racks.
    A better question is, in what magical land do you live where you have an option not to use a bike rack? If there's a bike rack for a building, chances are that's your only option as far as locking your bike up. You act as if there's a bike rack to the left, and a giant, bike-sized safe to the right and people are being idiots by using the rack.

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