Approximately one million bicycles are stolen in the United States each year. About 3,000 bikes are stolen a day. Most bicycles are stolen from yards, garages, or porches. While 66 percent of motor vehicles are recovered-less than 20 percent of stolen bicycles are ever returned.
Reasons Bicycles are Stolen
- As a temporary means of transportation.
- For some personal reason to deny the owner of its use.
- For the thief’s personal use.
- So the thief can sell the bicycle or its parts for money.
- For the majority of bicycle thefts, the bikes were either unlocked, improperly locked, or locked with inadequate devices.
- A good padlock should have at least a 7/16 inch hardened alloy steal shackle. If the steel is hardened, the word "hardened" will be stamped on the shackle.
- A recommended bicycle locking device consist of a three foot length of 1/4 inch hardened chain together with a keyed type padlock of high quality having at least a 1/4 inch hardened shackle.
- The lock shackle should be secured at both heel and toe and the locking mechanism should be of "pin-tumbler" construction.
- The owner should use a good bicycle locking device.
- There is no bike lock that cannot be defeated. However, the "U" shape locks have proven to be reasonably effective.
Bicycle Do’s and Don’ts
- Accessories that can be easily removed, like quick release wheels and seats, should also be secured by a lock.
- Engrave the bicycle with the owner’s driver’s license number or some other specific identifying number (not your social security number) in order to identify it.
- Get a bike license sticker from the Taylor Police Department’s Record Bureau to put on the bike.
- If a "U" lock is used, position the bicycle frame and wheels so that as much open space as possible within the U-portion of the lock is filled or taken up. This makes it more difficult for a thief to use tools to attack the lock.
- Record all vital information for a bicycle: make, model, color, identifying marks, serial number, etc. Have this info readily available for the police in the event of a theft. This will increase the chance of recovery.
- The bicycle should be locked to an immovable object in a conspicuous, open and well-lighted place. When locking the bicycle, at a minimum both wheels and the frame should be secured.
- When unattended, bikes should always be locked. More bicycles are stolen from homes than from any other location.
- Don’t lock bicycles to a small tree, aluminum or wooden posts, or chain link fences. These items can be easily broken or cut.
- Don’t lock a bike to a disability accessible ramp.
- Don’t lock a bicycle to itself (the front wheel locked to the frame). A thief could simply carry the whole bike away.
- Don’t position a lock low to the ground. A thief can attack the lock more easily and less obviously in that position.