Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Tips on preventing bike crime

Making a record of a bike’s details should take less than 10 minutes. . . . .

 Keep a record of the details of your bike – Make, Model, Frame Number, Size, as well as details about its components. Take some photographs of your bike, making sure that any customisations that have been added are clear. Keep these details and images in a safe and easily searchable place such as on a back up disk for your computer, or in an email account.

Next, register with immobilise.com – the ‘National Property Register’ which Police use when reuniting recovered items.

Advice on securing your bike

At the time of writing, half of the bicycles mentioned on the blog have been stolen from break-ins at home, from back gardens, garages or ‘secure’ storage at apartment complexes, so it’s just as important to follow precautions here as you would out and about.
The aim is to make your bike less appealing as well as difficult to steal. You can do this by;

  • Locking your bike [e.g. a D lock through the back wheel and frame ] even when the house / in storage will mean an opportunist thief won’t be able to ride it away / use it as a quick getaway. If available, lock your bike to a immovable object.
  • If storing in a shed / garage / apartment complex storage, take the front wheel indoors.
When leaving the bike unattended when out and about
  • There are two main types of locks available, a chain / cable lock, or a D / U lock. A thief only needs to carry one tool to break a lock, the type of tool depends on the type of lock. One way to make it harder for the thieves is to use both types. I would personally recommend this, even if one of the locks is a cheap / isn’t that strong, it will discourage thieves who haven’t got both tools.
  • Lock your bicycle to an immovable object that allows the least amount of movement once locked. A metal barrier is better than a lamp post, a Sheffield type bike rack is better than curly one. These will stop the thief moving your bike around to get better access to your lock. They’ll also protect your bike from being such an easy target to vandalism. A well lit area covered by CCTV will deter some thieves.
  • When locking, try to avoid gaps where tools could be inserted within the lock, avoid leaving the lock to rest on the lock on the floor where it could be hit and broke. 
  • Quick release wheels and saddles have their obvious disadvantage – lock these as well as your frame.
  • If you return to your secured bike, but it’s developed a flat tyre since you left it, don’t leave it there overnight ! I’ve heard that thieves deflate tyres in the hope that bikes get left overnight so they can work on the locks undisturbed. Especially true with the combination type locks.

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