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  1. #1
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    A different take on bike theft

    Many of the suggestions I have read in this forum have suggested getting a cheap bike and defacing it so it won't get stolen. This article from Portland has a bit different take.

    U-Lock or You Walk: Surprising Bike-Theft Facts
    Life is like riding a bicycle - in order to keep your balance, you must keep moving. ~Albert Einstein.

  2. #2
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Many of the suggestions I have read in this forum have suggested getting a cheap bike and defacing it so it won't get stolen. This article from Portland has a bit different take.

    U-Lock or You Walk: Surprising Bike-Theft Facts
    Good article. I still stand by my policy of don't ride what you can't afford to lose.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

  3. #3
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    I tend to keep my bikes in sight when I am out. The only time I am worried is at the grocery store. Then I lock the bike up with a heavy lock to the rack and a cable lock through the wheels and frame.

    Still I am loath to let a thef dictate what I ride. I am looking at a folder for grocery runs.

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    Pedalin' Erry Day lasauge's Avatar
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    Interesting article, I think the biggest takeaway (for those who haven't heard it before) is that bike thieves are generally opportunists, not organized criminals who consciously target valuable bikes. How else to explain that whole bikes are stolen regularly, and sometimes front wheels and seatposts, but it's quite unusual to hear of brifters, handlebars, and derailers stolen off bikes locked in public?
    Reach me faster by email.

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    That mirrors well established patterns in NYC, and other major cities. For a number of years in a row Tower Records in the Village was the number one place for bike theft. But it's very simple. Thieves steal trendy marketable bikes they can sell for quick cash. They go where those choice picks can be found, and the dense pockets of theft downtown reflect the greater number of available targets.

    Actually, I'm having problems accepting that the numbers are as low as stated. If true, it means that bike theft is low on the learning curve and there's quite a bit of upside room, which bodes poorly for the future.
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  6. #6
    Senior Member Mobile 155's Avatar
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    Part of the problem may also be that law enforcement simply doesn't see bike theft as a priority.

  7. #7
    Senior Member CliffordK's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Part of the problem may also be that law enforcement simply doesn't see bike theft as a priority.
    It costs them time and money, and doesn't earn them money like sitting beside the road and annoying drivers with petty traffic citations.

    However, it is also difficult. How many E-Bay and Craigslist ads are put up in a day? 100,000? That would be a lot of shifters and etc to wade through.

    For those of us that buy and sell used bikes, perhaps we should be stopped on the way home, but that would get annoying very quickly, and the police don't have "probable cause" for a search unless there is compelling evidence that you're carrying stolen merchandise (and know it).

    There is an effort to build a national bike theft registry, but I think the data only goes back a few years, and it gets obvious very quickly that short of a serial number hit, it is almost impossible to find a frame, let alone all the components frequently stripped off of bikes.

    And, if your bike gets stripped, unless it has some obscure 50 year old components on it, it is unlikely you could ever find even the components on E-Bay were they to show up.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Part of the problem may also be that law enforcement simply doesn't see bike theft as a priority.
    The bait-bike approach could be promising in areas with a significant theft problem.
    BaitBike.com - Catching Bike Thieves In The Act!BaitBike.com And if they use expensive enough bikes it moves the crime into the grand theft category with more severe penalties. But you also need to get prosecutors and judges to see bicycle theft as a serious problem so the thieves who are caught aren't right back on the street again.

  9. #9
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Good article, since it echoes what I've been posting on BF for years now. :smug:

    I've had one old mountain bike stolen from a public space and the thief left behind a more costly bike when he stole it. Because, at the time, mountain bikes were the most popular bikes in my location. Nowadays, they would probably be looking for shiny cruiser type bikes from Walmart or Target, because that's what's popular right now.

    OTOH, I've had several bikes stolen off my front porch or front yard, which the article mentions is very common.

    No matter how many times I tell those kids to always lock their bikes....
    Last edited by Roody; 07-29-15 at 07:10 AM.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  10. #10
    Sophomoric Member Roody's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Part of the problem may also be that law enforcement simply doesn't see bike theft as a priority.
    From the article, it seems like the Portland PD takes it somewhat seriously. At least they went to the trouble of collecting data, writing a report, and sharing it with the community. And yet, Portland still has a high theft rate.


    "Think Outside the Cage"

  11. #11
    Pedaled too far. Artkansas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mobile 155 View Post
    Part of the problem may also be that law enforcement simply doesn't see bike theft as a priority.
    Yup. When I was bike-jacked and walked into police headquarters two blocks away, I couldn't get them to take me seriously until someone called in to report the crime and could identify one of the assailants. Then the cops leapt into action and took a report.
    "He who serves all, best serves himself" Jack London

    Quote Originally Posted by Bjforrestal View Post
    I don't care if you are on a unicycle, as long as you're not using a motor to get places you get props from me. We're here to support each other. Share ideas, and motivate one another to actually keep doing it.

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