According to National Crime Victim Survey, about two incidents of bike theft happen per minute, this equates to more than 1.5 million bicycles a year. Contrary to the popular belief, not all bicycles are stolen in exchange for money. Some thefts steal bikes just for transportation to get from one place to another and then ditch it somewhere else.
3 Sorts of Bike Thieves Based on Their Motives
1. Volume – Steals specific types of bikes to order
2. Joyrider – Steals any bike just for transportation, they usually just abandon the bicycle after using it.
3. Acquisitive – People who steal with every opportunity. They steal it to trade it for goods, money and sometimes drugs.
Thieves use several techniques to steal bikes. The methods usually depend on the owner’s practice of locking. If the bike is poorly locked, less theft-skill will be required.
4 Known Techniques Bike Thieves use:
Try to see if this is how you lock your bike and how a bike-thief will steal it from you.
1. Picking – If your locks need keys, thieves usually insert tools and pick the lock to open
2. Cutting – If your lock is something flexible, thieves can use bolt cutters, hacksaws, and tin-snips to cut your lock.
3. Lifting – If the bike is locked to a signpost that is not tall enough, thieves can easily just lift the bicycle then steal it from you.
4. Striking – If you’re using a chain lock that touches the ground, thieves can easily just use a hammer to destroy the chains or lock.
If you have a bicycle that you often use or if you’re just planning to buy one, it’s important to take precautions to take care of your bike. Be responsible and don’t add up to the millions of bicycle theft victims.
Tips to Help You Prevent Bike Theft
1. Use a good lock – It’s better if you spend money for a quality lock than a cheap lock, it will pay you off later on.
2. Do not buy cable locks, though, as they are usually cut using hacksaw or bolt cutters. Instead, buy yourself a heavy bike-chain or a D/U-lock.
3. Lock it somewhere steady– Look for a stable solid object you can find and lock it there. Ideally, if you can find a rack or a place where there are several bikes or people, then park it there.
4. Register your bike –Check the serial number of your bike then list it down. Take pictures of your bike as well so if your bike ever gets stolen, it will be easier to find. Usually, you will find your bicycle’s serial number imprinted in the metal or a sticker, under the bottom bracket.
5. Don’t leave it in the same place every day –If you often use your bicycle for transportation, try to park it in a different place every single day. This is particularly helpful for you, especially if your bike is something valuable. Some thieves may watch out for you, so be careful.