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Old 03-03-03, 03:10 PM   #1
kramerica
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How to prevent bike theft ?

Hello everyone, great to be back on this forum.

Last June, I had such a terrible experience. I was in the park with four of my friends, minding our own business when eight thugs came up to us, started talking crap, trying to threaten us and ended up stealing my bike and my friends bike.

These thugs live in a building only blocks away from my house and the police haven't been able to spot them or my bike.

The problem is I fear the same kind of thing will happen when I get another bike this year. So aside from buying a high quality lock, what other precautions can I take ?

I would appreciate your feedback, thank you.
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Old 03-03-03, 03:48 PM   #2
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Sounds like your chance to do some PI work. Keep an eye out for these guys and follow them home one day. Be very careful and keep your distance. Maybe arm yourself with pepper spray or a Taser, etc. After you find out where they live exactly, you call in the police to finish the job. They probably already sold your bike but this is most likely the best deterrent against this kind of theft. Other than that, you can get a really ugly beater bike that nobody would want to steal or carry a cell phone with 911 on speed dial. A lock won't do you much good if you're mugged while riding unless you use it as a weapon. No offense to your choice of residence, but have you considered moving?
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Old 03-03-03, 05:11 PM   #3
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Well, nearly all bikes are stolen while they are unattended, whether locked or not. What you are describing really amounts to a different problem.

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Originally posted by JDP
Maybe arm yourself with pepper spray or a Taser, etc. After you find out where they live exactly, you call in the police to finish the job.
Unfortunately, both of these are illegal as such here, although pepper spray labelled as dog repellent is available legally. However, the police will really nail him if he uses it on someone, even if there is no doubt that it was being used as a means of self defense. Other than police, only criminals are allowed to carry weapons here.

kramerica, the police probably don't give a crap about the stolen bicycles but they should care that you were robbed of it. Try getting snapshots of them and see if you can find out where they go to school (if they do!) and get hold of a yearbook so you can find their names. I'd also suggest that you need to pressure the cops (and maybe your councillor) to get something done about it. It is, after all, what they get paid big money for.

Where did this incident take place anyway? Scarlem?
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Old 03-03-03, 08:29 PM   #4
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yeah i am curious as to what part of the city this happened in also... not that anywhere is safe for a bike if someone wants it.
i used to live in Aurora.. everyone thinks "oh what a quaint lovely town!" lol problem is the kids either are too well off and have nothing to do.. or not well off and no jobs to make money for bikes. either way bikes disappear..
now i live downtown and no one touches my bike..i have dangerous cleats i never leave it alone or out of my sight.. but what happened to you is something the police should take care of... bike loss or no, it's assault and theft.
get the pics.. i know it's scary since you know them.. and they know you.. but they will keep taking til they realize they shouldn't.
hope you got a new bike.
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Old 03-04-03, 04:54 AM   #5
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My local police force figured out that bikes, being so stealable, made an excellent entree into the world of stolen property. They rigged up a bike with a radio beacon, left it chained with a weak lock, and just waited a few hours for it to get stolen. They tracked it to a lock up garage which was full of stolen property from burglaries etc, and were able to solve a whole lot of crimes in one swoop.

Bike muggings are a different matter, the most important thing is to avoid serious injury, bikes can be replaced. Mark your bike with a permanent stamp, under the bottom bracket, with your zip code. Put a tag with your zip code inside your seatpost and handlebars or stem, so the next guy to repair it knows that it is stolen.
If gangs are a problem, use your mobility to keep some distance, and stay observant. Learn how to ID someone, estimate their height and weight, how to note down significant ID features such as tatoos or scars, hairline, nose shape etc. Clothes can be easily changed, but shoes and watches are not changed every day.
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Old 03-05-03, 11:09 AM   #6
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MOVE.Badguys win most the time.
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Old 03-06-03, 06:23 PM   #7
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It happens. I had two thugs try to steal a bike out from under me... I still have the bike, although I had to fix the rear wheel where it hit one of them in the head (if they'd had a weapon they'd have gotten the bike). In general, though, the best defence is avoidance and camoflague. If you see a group of folks walking towards you in the middle of the street, and it's you and them and no-one else around, just go another way.

My suggestion is to buy an old beater and use it for general, around town riding. I have a UO-10 that seems to work well. I touch up any scrapes/nicks in the paint with touch up primer and leave them like that. It doesn't look nice at all, although I have resisted the temptation to scar it more. Mechanically, it's a fine bike; if it gets stolen, I'll be unhappy 'cause I like riding it, but I'll be out thirty-five bucks.
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Old 03-06-03, 08:02 PM   #8
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Thanks for the replies.

juciluci , I live in Scarborough, and I'm telling you this place is going downhill. There are so many crimes it's unbelievable. And too many people at my age are getting into the wrong type of things, and the police can't seem to keep up. I Don't think I have the option of moving either; I'm only 17 and in grade 11. At least I know that my block is safe; everyone knows eachother, but about five blocks down are where things get dirty.

MichaelW, as soon as I get a new bike, although I'm not sure what kind yet, I'm definitely going to hide a few postal codes in it. Thanks for the tip. And I'll take note of how they look like if I think it's them. I guess I should also give the police a call and try and get them involved again.

Anyways, I've been lifting weights for a while now and my size and strength have increased. I also plan to take some kind of martial arts soon, and who knows this might just help if it's neccessary.

I was also wondering, is there some kind of way I can get my bike insured ? I remember someone telling me If I purchase a bike using a credit card then it can replaced if theft is the culprit and a police report has been filed.

Take it easy everyone, I really appreciate your help so far !
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Old 03-07-03, 03:21 AM   #9
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Get it put on your parent's Homeowner's / Renter's insurance
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Old 03-07-03, 01:33 PM   #10
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Not much you can do about the actual theft other than locking it up, but I would _highly_ recomend taking a pic of each of your bikes and recording the sn#. Makes getting them back a whole lot easire.
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Old 03-07-03, 02:54 PM   #11
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Was kramerica from Scarborough? Hmmmm. Wasn't there a song about that?
I don't want to sound insensitive to the crime, personally I think Crime is Crime. They should prosecute attempted assault/bicycle theft just like other crimes. If someone had their car hijacked in similar fashion the police would be right on it. The mention of Scarborough made me think about what the song would be like if they rewrote it today though so I took a whack at rewriting Scarborough Fair! Once again, I hope this isn't taken the wrong way, I don't mean to trivialize the problem (but as Dan Akyroyd says in Ghostbusters The thought just popped in there!).
(you all know that song I assume)

It was once a true love of mine.(my bicycle of course)

Are you going to Scarborough fair?
Lock your bike much better than mine!
Remember my bike, when you go there,
It was once, a true love of mine.

You'll need much more than a kryptonite lock,
lock your bike much better than mine!
Made out of steel, very cold and strong,
So you'll keep that cycle that shines!

Try a chain, of case hardened steal
Lock your bike much better than mine!
Although itís weight will make your bike reel
Itíll protect that true love of thine!

Ask them to build, a bike locker first,
lock your bike much better than mine!
With a door so strong and a lock that'll hold,
Then you'll keep, that true love so fine!

Hmmm. I'll spare you the rest!
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Last edited by Paul L.; 03-07-03 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 03-09-03, 01:51 AM   #12
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MichaelW had some good thoughts for helping to recover your bike should it get stolen. Some communties (usually at firestations not police for some reason) will stamp the underside of the bottom bracket with a code that identifies your bike when you license it. And Raiyn mentioned the insurance thing that would help pay for your bike IF your bike is worth more than your deductible; but be sure to take a picture and save the recept for the bike because the insurance adjuster will need prrof of it's value. HOWEVER, keep in mind that once the bike is stolen the chances for recovery are less than 1%!!

So to prevent your bike from getting stolen in the first place requires an expensive heavy lock, and the best is the Kryptonite New York Chain for about $75. This lock, along with a host of others (except the new MasterLock Culf lock that was not tested), was the only one that could not be defeated by anything that a group of professional thieves tried on it. But thieves are creative, if they cannot get the bike they can strip the parts off of it. Always park the bike in well lit areas that are heavily traveled by people. Do not lock the bike to a tree since thieves have been known to cut the tree down! or to small steel poles that can also be cut or sometimes can be pulled out of the ground; parking meters are good as are bike racks or bigger steel water or gas pipes.

So it depends on where you live would depend on your strategy. Where I live a simple cable lock is fine; but if I lived in New York or some other major city, I would probably buy a beater if I know I have to lock it up outside, and save the good bike for when I'm riding and will not be stopping.
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Old 03-09-03, 12:54 PM   #13
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Here's a new one. http://www.cy-curity.com/ It's a remote control, motion activated alarm for bikes or any other item. Costs $50, but it should help discourage thief or tampering. Now if they would just come up with one that would page you, like some of the higher end car and motorcycle alarms.
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