General Cycling Discussion - Yes, Another Theft Thread (ques bout stats)
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07-09-08, 08:24 PM
I'm constantly on CL looking for components for my first fixed gear project and I see between 3 and 5 postings for stolen bikes on a daily basis (and this might be my lowball estimate). Sure, some are extreme cases where people break into homes and make off with the goods. But what I want to know is what is the rate of cycles stolen as a result of a jimmied lock.
I searched the forums before and know:
No lock is 100% theft proof
Most thefts are crimes of opportunity
And if someone REALLY wants it, they'll take it
But, I wonder how SO many bikes are stolen, daily. I think, "Well, weren't they locked up?". Seems like the crime of opportunity theorum would mean that it wouldn't matter that no lock is totally theft proof.
(Sidebar: a friend of mine bought this rusty old beater bike for $5 off this homeless guy. Wouldn't buy a lock cuz 'he didn't wanna put any money into it' ?!?! He stashed it behind a dumpster during a job interview. Came out and it was gone.)
On my block, and around the neighborhood, really, there are tons of people who lock their bikes to the wrought iron fence outside their homes. I had mine locked up on the porch because I thought I was going back out, but I brought it in-paranoid-after an hour. I don't know but it seems like after long enough in the same spot, any bike theft becomes a crime of opportunity.
What's the occurance that people are just doing stupid things to secure their bikes vs. the occurance that someone wanted the bike just THAT badly and invests in lock smashing tools.
07-09-08, 08:54 PM
this is your only solution:
07-09-08, 09:09 PM
The solution that worked for me is having two bikes. I have one bike that while I enjoy having it I leave it locked up for 8 hours (cable lock through front wheel and seat, U lock through frame and rear wheel). Using two locks on this bike and it being out in the visible open, I feel safe locking it up. At the end of the day though this is a bike I use for commuting. It is not my "baby" or my sports car so to speak. I accept that it may be stolen.
My other bike I adore and never lock up. It is for days when the reason I am on the bike is purely for the enjoyment of bicycling. I have never locked it up but if I was going to, I would want a long thin cable lock capable of going through both wheels. The bike would only be locked up while I went inside starbucks to get a coffee and come back out with it or similar endeavors.
07-09-08, 09:37 PM
^^^Yeah. This makes sense. I only have the one now that I'm turning into my baby if-you will. And I do see accumulating another cycle or two. I usually ride for transpo as opposed to sport or fitness. So I'm a frequent stop maker.
Occasionally I'll hit the trail along the lake. But it sucks to have to make a decision on where you're going and then select a bike accordingly.
Its a combination of factors:
1: Economy is collapsing into a depression. People who normally did not bother with stealing bikes and had the IQ to get jobs elsewhere are considering it as a means of income. These are not your usual crackheads, but people Internet aware and know the difference between a $10 lock from X-Mart which can be Bic penned, twisted or jacked open, versus an Onguard x4 or a Kryptonite NY lock.
2: Due to a shattered economy, there are more people willing to purchase bikes with no questions asked. $1500 bike for $1000? Sure thing. Few people bother with serial numbers, nor care about them.
3: Law enforcement for bikes is a low priority. Police have to deal with funding cuts, and crime rates going asymptotic. Chasing after a bike thief is not much of an interest. This is not to fault law enforcement -- its that they only have limited resources, so they have to go after worse crimes first.
4: Bikes have valuable components, so people who carry around an Allen head seat can walk off with a top dollar suspension fork, or just cut a chain off and walk off with a derailleur. Components don't have serial numbers, and if they do, they are not registered, so a guy with a pile of lightly used XTR stuff can get a good deal for it on CL, with no worry about a sting operation.
5: Bikes are becoming a fad item again, like in the early 70s. More demand means more demand for stolen bikes and components.
Victim-wise, one reason bikes are stolen is that they are under locked. In one place I went to, out of 20-30 bikes, there was one secured with a U-lock with a Sold Secure rating, 5 with U-locks at all, and the rest used cable locks. People mainly just wound the lock through the frame and called it done. All it would take would be one cut and the lock and bike is gone.
07-09-08, 11:47 PM
I've never understood people who think a single cable lock is good enough to protect their bike. Although I have never tried, I suspect that I could cut through one with a mere steak knife.
07-10-08, 07:14 AM
Wow. Good to have those theories (facts?) Its useful to know the psychology of theft as well as what makes a victim. Honestly, I think I know why people use the cable lock, PNK MRTYR, and that's because most people don't wanna pay for the ULock variety. I
mean when you buy a used $200 or so bike, most people would not see spending $75 on a lock. I guess most people would rather take the risk. You gotta admit, that's pretty steep for people who didn't otherwise have a clue.
I've seen some decent looking U-locks that shouldn't cost too much, although not certified as Sold Secure Gold.
MEC sells a decent looking U-lock (http://www.mec.ca/Products/product_detail.jsp?PRODUCT%3C%3Eprd_id=845524442594331&FOLDER%3C%3Efolder_id=2534374302692967&bmUID=1215706762831) that won't break the bank.
Kryptonite apparently has overhauled their line, so you can get a KryptoLok which provides decent security from most attacks for about $20-$30.
At the minimum, carry a U-Lock and a cable that can wrap through both wheels, the saddle rails and the frame. I still think that all bikes used for commuting should be shipped with locking skewers, and keyed bolts similar to what Bryce Fastener (http://www.brycefastener.com/keyedlok.htm) offers. Its not 100% secure, of course, but it turns a 30 second job with an Allen wrench into something requiring a Dremel tool and a lot more time.
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