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Have you experienced bike theft?

Old 11-08-14, 04:25 PM
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Have you experienced bike theft?

Hi everyone,

A friend of my recently told me that their friend had two customized road bikes stolen from their garage. I am guessing the two bikes combined were worth over $10,000. I also read an article on a bike theft in Montreal, QC (Cyclist Michael Le Rossignol pays $400 to buy back stolen bike - Montreal - CBC News). It's crazy how often these bike thefts are happening.

I was just wondering, is bike theft a common thing that happens and have any of you ever experienced bike theft? Are there any ways of prevention? I know that the police have a bike registry, but do most people register their bikes? Also, if any of you have had your bike stolen, were you able to get it recovered?
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Old 11-08-14, 04:30 PM
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Had my car stolen from a secured garage on the fourth floor.

If someone wants it...They can figure a way to steal it.
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Old 11-08-14, 04:34 PM
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Add 1 more .. I moved away .. Less Bike Hip but my bike stays locked to the post.
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Old 11-08-14, 04:54 PM
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Yep, I've had two bikes stolen, but I live in the Netherlands ... and that is not so uncommon. This is two bikes in 20 years.

One bike was stolen from my front porch and the other was stolen outside of a restaurant where I was working. I even saw the guy walking away with a bike. I saw this out of the corner of my eye and didn't realize what I had seen until later. Had both bikes been secured to an immovable object, they would not have been stolen. Always use two locks.
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Old 11-08-14, 05:09 PM
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Yuh so i had 5 bikes stolen in my life, each worth about 3000+ cause you know I like to spend money on bikes. But ever since those days, i bought a security device on my bike that makes thieves not want to thief my bike anymore - ye know??
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Old 11-08-14, 05:17 PM
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What kind of security device do you have on your bike now? Could you describe it please?
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Old 11-08-14, 05:18 PM
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So it's called TRVCKS. It trvcks where your bike is at all times.
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Old 11-08-14, 06:33 PM
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Hmmmm, maybe it's just me? The previous posts #5 , #6 and #7 seem rather uuhhmm... Convenient.

In case the o.p. is in fact an honest question, and not a setup.

Then yes, I have lost two bikes personally to scumbag thieves. One of my neighbors lost their city beater bike several months ago.
ALL BIKES were secured with CABLE BASED LOCKS as primary anchoring lock. ALL CABLES WERE CUT with one clean cut by bolt/cable cutter/cropper. 1) 10 mm Steel double loop cable w/ padlock. 1) Steel sleeved Armored cable lock approx. 20 mm. And the latest, 1) approx. 18 mm Steel cable lock.

Last edited by HvPnyrs; 11-09-14 at 08:30 AM. Reason: Arrgh, Senior moment. Added '#5' and "not a setup"
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Old 11-08-14, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 10 Wheels
Had my car stolen from a secured garage on the fourth floor.

If someone wants it...They can figure a way to steal it.
True, so I just try to make sure that mine isn't the one they consider the easiest/most desirable one to steal. As the saying goes - you don't have to be able to outrun the bear, just the slowest person in your group. My bikes are well-used and they look it. I fix any mechanical issues, but deliberately don't bother with anything that would just improve aesthetics. Combined with decent locks I hope that's enough to keep the risk acceptably low.

I do hope the police start to take bike theft more seriously. The SFPD has indicated they're doing some 'bait bike' stings and some of the other departments in the area have posted video surveillance shots of bike thieves to see if anyone recognizes them. Lots of recreational cyclists around here, but few seem to use their bikes for utility transportation and I suspect that fear of theft is a significant factor in that.
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Old 11-08-14, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by prathmann
True, so I just try to make sure that mine isn't the one they consider the easiest/most desirable one to steal. As the saying goes - you don't have to be able to outrun the bear, just the slowest person in your group. My bikes are well-used and they look it. I fix any mechanical issues, but deliberately don't bother with anything that would just improve aesthetics. Combined with decent locks I hope that's enough to keep the risk acceptably low.

I do hope the police start to take bike theft more seriously. The SFPD has indicated they're doing some 'bait bike' stings and some of the other departments in the area have posted video surveillance shots of bike thieves to see if anyone recognizes them. Lots of recreational cyclists around here, but few seem to use their bikes for utility transportation and I suspect that fear of theft is a significant factor in that.
I completely agree. Bike theft doesn't seem to be considered a serious crime and I think that thieves target expensive bikes because the return is better for them. Also, the repercussions for bike crimes are not as severe as stealing other things and therefore, it seems as though thieves choose bikes because if they get caught, the punishment isn't as extreme as others.

Do any of you see other ways to prevent bike theft other than locks, which can easily be cut?
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Old 11-08-14, 07:50 PM
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I watched a fellow actually jump on my unlocked bike while I was having a coffee at a local McDonalds . I ran outside and rescued it as he jumped off. The cops were very UN interested. But I retrieved my bike and now I have a cable lock on it, even when it is within eye sight.
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Old 11-08-14, 08:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Northwestrider
I watched a fellow actually jump on my unlocked bike while I was having a coffee at a local McDonalds . I ran outside and rescued it as he jumped off. The cops were very UN interested. But I retrieved my bike and now I have a cable lock on it, even when it is within eye sight.
Friend got a brand new (less than a week old) bike stolen and he had a cable lock on it when the bike was stolen. It wasn't even a good bike, just some $100 dollar bike from Wal-Mart. And there were numerous other bikes on the same rack as his. Not to say that cable locks don't have their purpose. If you have an eye on it and a cable lock then you're probably golden.
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Old 11-08-14, 08:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Deontologist
Friend got a brand new (less than a week old) bike stolen and he had a cable lock on it when the bike was stolen. It wasn't even a good bike, just some $100 dollar bike from Wal-Mart. And there were numerous other bikes on the same rack as his. Not to say that cable locks don't have their purpose. If you have an eye on it and a cable lock then you're probably golden.
Some people don't realise that the cable has to go through the frame and around the fixed object to secure the bike. More than once I have seen a cable lock that has missed the mark, especially going through the frame. Truth be told, I have done this myself, although I double check and correct as required.

I've had one bike stolen. It was the first one I owned, and it and I completed a crossing of the Nullarbor Plain from Perth to Adelaide in Australia s my first tour. It was taken from a car port, but was not secured with a lock of any sort. Lesson learned there.
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Old 11-08-14, 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Rowan
Some people don't realise that the cable has to go through the frame and around the fixed object
In my case the nearest fixed object that would allow me to keep my bike within view when at this particular McDonald's is a very far distance away. As I always keep it within eye sight ( in this case about 10 feet away from my seat ) I think merely wrapping the cable lock through the frame and the wheel suffices . It's not ideal, but it's slows them down just a bit. So far it has worked without problem.
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Old 11-09-14, 07:57 AM
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I had my first "real" bike (i.e. not a crappy dept. store thing) stolen from the bike rack outside of my dorm in college. It was a Trek 820, which admittedly is the cheapest adult bike they make, but I loved that thing nonetheless. I had it secured (or so I thought) with a cable lock, but as I went out to hop on my bike to go to class in the morning, I discovered that the bike and lock were both missing. I was pissed, and that feeling of helpless violation isn't something that I would ever wish on anyone. I had registered the bike with the university, and I filed a police report, but the bike was never recovered. Nowadays, I never leave a bike unlocked and unattended, and I use much better quality locks to boot. I also have all of my bikes registered with at least three registries, with plenty of photos and records, and I'm patiently waiting on BikeSpike to finally start manufacturing and shipping out their GPS tracking units (I contributed to their Kickstarter, so I'll be getting one eventually for my primary ride).
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Old 11-09-14, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by studentventure
Do any of you see other ways to prevent bike theft other than locks, which can easily be cut?
One thing my wife and I have done, in part, to deter bike theft is to change the type of bikes we ride. Most bike thefts occur when its been parked/locked while left unattended for whatever reason, like entering a restaurant or coffee shop as examples. Since we both own folding bikes, we don't need to park/lock our bikes wherever we go. We just fold them up and carry them into whatever establishment we visit. The bikes are with us at all times, and never left unattended whether locked up with the best security locks or not. We figure the best security to theft is having them with us. If you try stealing it that way, you aren't going to get very far carrying the bike. I might not be a fast runner at my age anymore, but I can run down someone carrying a 30lb bike. If we take our bikes on a trip, they are secure in the trunk of our car out of sight of thieves who target bikes on racks.

Nothing is full prove that's for sure, but owning a folding bike does prevent a lot of possible theft situations. If they are stolen from our car or our home, I have a rider on my insurance policy that will cover the full replacement cost of the bikes with no deductible. So at best, I will receive full replacement cost and enjoy shopping all over again.
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Old 11-09-14, 08:31 AM
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A couple of years ago my daughter lost the keys to her cable lock. It was around the frame and not causing problems; but without the key she wanted it gone.

After confirming that destructive removal was what she wanted, I took out my cable cutters and sniped through it. It really was that easy; I was quite surprised. It was a big eye opener for both of us. At this point we both use U locks. The cable really can be cut through faster than they can be unlocked with the key.

Last edited by Robert C; 11-09-14 at 08:53 AM.
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Old 11-09-14, 08:39 AM
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The most recent was a couple of years ago. My bike was in the back of my car when the car was stolen. Fortunately it was more of a joy ride and they didn't know the value of my bike in the back.

About 20 years ago I had a BMX bike. One of my kids was using it and left it unattended. Someone swiped it and we never saw it again.

My first bike was stolen about 53 years ago. I just went into the house for a drink of water and when I came back, the bike was gone. Never saw it again. It was a valuable lesson.
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Old 11-09-14, 08:56 AM
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Several years ago I had my mountain bike stolen out of the back of my garage while the door was open. Now I cable lock them to heavy steel car ramps.
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Old 11-09-14, 10:18 AM
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Growing up, like every bike I had evidently was stolen due to laziness on my part. In my adult life only two. One off my front porch where the thief used bolt cutters. The other, my girls left the garage door opened and the scum walked up rode away on it. Neighbor kid saw it being rode by someone he knew just moments later and then informed me. I called the fuzz but they wouldn't do anything about it because he didn't see the actual crime being committed! He knew the thief. He knew my bike! He saw the thief riding my bike on my street away from my house. But all that didn't matter.
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Old 11-09-14, 10:56 AM
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I had my schwinn typhoon stolen when I was 9, I was lazy one night and didn't put it away in the garage. A friend saw the thief riding my bike and chased after them. He call and I got my bike back. So my stolen bike was gone only 1 night.
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Old 11-09-14, 10:59 AM
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Someone hooked me up with some Kryptonite locks, I like how on their 12mm cable lock they honestly rate it at "2/10".
I'm curious what thieves prefer taking; front wheels or seatposts/saddle? I could use a chain as a second lock on one of them, but that still leaves a cable lock for the 3rd.

Either way it can't be as bad as the guy who plunks down $10K on a motorcycle, only to have it carried off on a truck..

^^ I wonder where that rule stops?? If a murder doesn't happen right in front of a cop they can't do anything about it?
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Old 11-09-14, 12:58 PM
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Ha, reminds me of a dream I had 2 days ago! I dreamed that while I went to a movie in downtown Manhattan my bike was stolen outside. This should tell you how common bike theft is (esp. in downtown Manhattan) and how concerned I am.
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Old 11-09-14, 02:56 PM
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Well, back in the 70's, I think it was 1976, I was waiting for my friend in front of a store, and two fine lads riding on one bike, never a good sign in those days, pulled up and told me they wanted my bike. Typically for the time, I told them, f*** you. Well, they didn't respond in the way I had hoped and one of them took out a knife and sliced it across the hand that was on the saddle. It didn't hurt right away, but blood was oozing and a fight broke out. Sorry to say, they won and took the bike. It was a Bianchi, but screw them, it was to big for me!

I hope there dead now. (Is that to harsh?)

NYC was a tough place in the 70's, not the hipster heaven it is today, and I still wear that scar...
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Old 11-09-14, 11:19 PM
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When I was about nine years old, I had a Royal bike taken out of my yard. A couple of months later, my friends brought me a bike they thought was mine. They said they caught a boy riding it and took it away from him. I was not by bike. We were able to find out where the kid lived, only three blocks from me and returned it. About six months later, on a Sunday morning, I walked out of my house and the bike was laying on the front lawn; it had been returned. It was in less than good condition but it was back. I never found out who took it or why they returned it.

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