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How bad is bike theft in your area?

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How bad is bike theft in your area?

Old 12-27-17, 01:55 PM
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How bad is bike theft in your area?

My thread on pretty bikes got me to thinking.
I only know one rider in my area that deliberately
made their bike unattractive to deter bike thieves.
I thought it was an unusual case because that rider rode every day and so
made it more likely for the bike to get stolen.

But it seems that may not be the case.
Are bikes stolen that often where you live?
Is it punks out for a joy ride who then trash the bike?
Are there pro's in your neighborhood?

I do not know what it was like for you growing up.
We used to have to have a license plate for our bike.
The police would actually turn your bike over check out the serial number and
register your plate along with that serial number.
That way if your bike was stolen it could be recovered.
That meant the police often stopped innocent kids to check if their bikes were stolen.
A royal pain in the sit bones if you ask me.

Now that process stopped long ago.
I presumed it was because theft was no longer rampant.
Now I do lock up my ride well. A good U-lock through the frame and
another cable lock through the seat and if there is reason through the rear wheel.
I do that because they are both after-market and expensive.

But I never hear of bike theft.
I am a friendly sort and will go out of my way to talk to folks,
especially other riders. People like to talk to me as I am truly interested in them.
If they kind of wistfully say they wish their bike was as nice as mine I point out
mine is new and if they added an accent or two their own bike would stand out more.
As said pretty is in the eye of the beholder. I could care less myself about
how nice or new someone's ride is if they take evident pride of ownership.

Am I setting these folks up for a bike thief?
Is it so darned bad out there?
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Old 12-27-17, 02:23 PM
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Bike theft is RAMPANT pretty much everywhere in the US. The police dont look for stolen bikes because they dont have the time or funding to find them. It's that simple. If you have a bike you like, dont lock it up anywhere is my view.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:28 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89
If you have a bike you like, dont lock it up anywhere is my view.
Been locking up bikes I like frequently here in the big city for over 30 years and even toured across the country without a lock. Never had a bike stolen--except from inside my house, while I was home, and awake.


Boo!


P.S. Seems it's time to ask again about bike theft.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:31 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
Been locking up bikes I like frequently here in the big city for over 30 years and even toured across the country without a lock. Never had a bike stolen--except from inside my house, while I was home, and awake.


Boo!


P.S. Seems it's time to ask again about bike theft.
Hmm.. I guess you're right. Everyone should just leave their bike anywhere in the country without a lock, just not at home while they're awake.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:31 PM
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In our local, suburban, neighborhood I think the risk is quite low. I use my bike daily for both recreational and utility rides and therefore frequently leave it outside grocery and other stores and restaurants. I do lock it, but it's with a very thin cable lock that I could probably cut through in a few seconds with my Swiss Army knife. My last bike theft was about 40 years ago from an unlocked outdoor shed - and it was in a university area with a higher risk.

We did have an active bike thief a number of years ago who targeted new high-end bikes. He would hang around coffee shops known as favorite social rest stops for bike clubs dressed as a cyclist, walk around checking out the bikes, and then grab one and ride off quickly before others had a chance to react. I remember one woman was on her first ride on her high-end Trek and he grabbed it while she was only a few feet away sipping her coffee. Fortunately he was eventually caught and I haven't heard of any such incidents since then.

OTOH, I feel there's a much greater risk in Berkeley, Oakland or San Francisco, the urban centers near us. Our bike club used to have regular rides around SF visiting various museums on one of their free-admission days. But after a couple bikes were stolen outside the Cal. Acad. Science museum we've no longer held those rides. We also had an incident where a couple bikes were snatched from a car rack after a ride while the owners were inside a restaurant following a ride.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:32 PM
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Originally Posted by exmechanic89
Hmm.. I guess you're right. Everyone should just leave their bike anywhere in the country without a lock, just not at home while they're awake.
Glad I was able to help.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:40 PM
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In my area it's not a problem. I could leave my bike unlocked in front of the local Joy Mart without a concern.

In the city, it would be a different matter. Once you get near the university, theft becomes rampant. On the satellite campus where I work, it doesn't seem to be a problem but I still bring my bike into my office when I ride to work.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:41 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr
My thread on pretty bikes got me to thinking.
Uh oh! And we all know if a thought crosses our mind we have to post it on BF!! In the 10+ years I've ridden with a large club, I've only heard of one bike theft. He left his bike on a car rack in a motel parking lot.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:45 PM
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Bike theft is bad here in Fresno. Had mine stolen from my garage. I think it is mostly done to raise a few bucks for drugs.

The problem with my replacement carbon bike is that the serial number is just a sticker on the BB. Now I keep it inside my apt and never let it out of my sight while riding, ever.
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Old 12-27-17, 02:56 PM
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Originally Posted by Tape2012
never let it out of my sight while riding, ever.
That is a good policy
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Old 12-27-17, 03:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Tape2012
...and never let it out of my sight while riding, ever.
Originally Posted by shelbyfv
That is a good policy
As long as the cyclist doesn't mind being a ball and chain for his bike, or vice versa.
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Old 12-27-17, 03:12 PM
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"while riding" Was a joke, sorry.

Last edited by shelbyfv; 12-27-17 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 12-27-17, 03:14 PM
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Originally Posted by I-Like-To-Bike
As long as the cyclist doesn't mind being a ball and chain for his bike, or vice versa.
Your exactly right, it's a pain. When riding in groups its not too bad but alone is a problem. Can't duck into a store or bathroom. Not sure of the alternatives.
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Old 12-27-17, 03:24 PM
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Bike theft seems like a minimal issue in my area, and I ride cheap / old bikes. So I use a simple combination padlock and chain, or a cable lock. When going downtown, or to the college campus, then I use an Abus high-security chain lock, but don't worry too much about it. I'd be sad if I lost a bike, but it's not an heirloom.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Tape2012
Can't duck into a store or bathroom.
So it's your belief that every time someone ducks into a store or bathroom without their bike the bike gets stolen? I hope not, because it's simply not true.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:17 PM
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It concerns me enough that I occasionally leave my bike unlcked at the brewery. It concerns me enough that the rest of the time, the only lock I carry and use is a <$10 cable combo lock.

YMMV, and it takes but one instance to change your perception.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:22 PM
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In the NW suburbs of Detroit (near Brighton) it's pretty low. I'm sure it happens though. The freeways going through town make Brighton an easy hunting ground for those in Flint and Detroit. But, their usually after cigarettes and other easier low lying fruit.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:32 PM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz
So it's your belief that every time someone ducks into a store or bathroom without their bike the bike gets stolen? I hope not, because it's simply not true.
Of course not. But it's possible and I'm not going through the hassle of the insurance claim process again.

Gas stations are bad that way. Lots of people coming/going or loitering out front. Nothing to secure your bike to. I'm not going to lean a $2500 bike against the wall and go take a leak. I'll pee in the street first.

On the bike paths or outside the city are not nearly as concerning.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:44 PM
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Originally Posted by shelbyfv
Uh oh! And we all know if a thought crosses our mind we have to post it on BF!! In the 10+ years I've ridden with a large club, I've only heard of one bike theft. He left his bike on a car rack in a motel parking lot.
I am glad you agree that pertinent topics are fun.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:47 PM
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It's enough of a problem where I live to be careful - but not bad enough that I feel the need to uglify my bikes. There are some pros who target high-end bikes left unlocked (on vehicle racks etc.) and have the tools to clip cable locks. There's also the yahoo joyriders who take anything left unlocked and then dump it, and some low-level crooks who take bikes from unlocked garages.

I don't worry too much about my commuter bikes - not nice enough for the pros, and most locks will deter the yahoos. Nice bikes live in the house and/or back porch, and anyone who wants them will have to get past our 130 lb. canine drool machine.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:48 PM
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Quote tape 2012

I'm not going to lean a $2500 bike against the wall and go take a leak. I'll pee in the street first.

[/QUOTE]

I like your attitude.
Still,five bucks says you can't pee in the street while riding.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:53 PM
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Originally Posted by Tape2012
Gas stations are bad that way. Lots of people coming/going or loitering out front....
What I've noticed in my locale, is that when somebody gets shot, it's either in their own home, or at a gas station. So I try to avoid spending too much time in gas stations.
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Old 12-27-17, 04:55 PM
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Within the city there seem to be more thefts than the suburbs around here. Pretty typical. I could leave a bike outside my house for a week and i doubt anything would happen.
Along the trails(fairly extensive for the population) i dont think twice about leaving my bike at bars and restaurants as its mine along with 10-100 other bikes and many are WAY nicer than mine with none locked. Havent heard of any being stolen.
Same with RAGBRAI- 15000-20000 riders each day without bike locks and bike theft is statistically not an issue.

If i worked in the city and commuted by bike, it would mean I had permission to bring the bike inside the building or there was secure parking. No chance i would leave it on the street.
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Old 12-27-17, 05:09 PM
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Originally Posted by PdalPowr
I like your attitude.
Still,five bucks says you can't pee in the street while riding.
You can, but your just asking for chain rust.
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Old 12-27-17, 05:24 PM
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I agree re Fresno. For quite a few years it was the car theft capital of the US, and probably still is.

Bike theft is bad anywhere in California, but the Central Valley is the absolute worst. An unlocked bike around here will be stolen before 5 people see it, because AT LEAST 20% of the population are thieves who will take anything of value that's not guarded, provided that they won't get caught. And I think 20% is a conservative estimate.

Hell, half the car accidents in this area result in at least one of the drivers leaving the scene, if not both. In most of CA these days, the level of honesty and obedience to the rule of law is roughly that of a third world country. People only obey traffic laws when a cop is in full view. These same people will snatch a bike if they think no one who will do anything about is looking.

I envy you people who live in "honest" parts of the world. California is most definitely not such a place, especially Central California.
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