The City of Berkeley is a bike-friendly city, and bikes are a preferred mode of transportation for many individuals. Unfortunately, bike theft is a persistent problem across the city, and no particular bike is immune to theft. In the first eight weeks of 2015, over 110 bicycles were stolen from throughout the City. Bikes of all types, colors, sizes--men’s, women’s, children’s--are targeted by bike thieves. There is not one type of specific trend as to what thieves steal. Bikes are stolen from homes, decks, apartments, whether left unattended and unsecured, or locked and secured to bike rack or other objects. Given that so many members of the City of Berkeley community are avid cyclists; the Berkeley Police Department would like to offer several bike theft prevention tips.
- No particular bike is immune: Lock and secure your bike, and keep your serial number handy in case of theft:
Please write your serial number down and be able to provide them to an officer if you bike is stolen. This way, we can enter the serial number and description into the Automated Property System, a national database of reported stolen property. Also, if there are distinguishing marks, stickers, baskets, racks or other details unique to your bike, please share those with the officer who documents the theft.
- Do not leave your bike unattended, whether in your backyard, on your balcony or deck, or in your car or truck:
Leaving a bike unlocked and unattended alongside your home, on your porch or an accessible balcony or backyard leaves it vulnerable to theft. Thieves are opportunistic, and a visible, unlocked bicycle presents an easy target.
- Learn how to effectively lock your bike, and consider avoiding cable locks:
Many people use cable locks when securing their bikes, which can be quickly and easily cut. Many riders only lock their tire instead of part of the frame, allowing a thief the opportunity to easily unbolt or quick release a tire and steal a portion of your bike. Consider using a “U Lock” type device. “U Locks” tend to be much harder to defeat. If you utilize a “U type lock”, remember to lock the tires and frame through the lock. You may need two “U Locks” to secure the frame and removable tire, and the second to lock the back tire. This seems like an extra step, but based on experience, this is one of the best crime prevention measures.
- Register your bike. You can now register your bike using BikeIndex.Org:
Many Bay Area bike owners and bike stores alike are now utilizing BikeIndex.org. With this free online website you can register your bike, transfer ownership, list your bicycle as stolen, and print-out a bike registration. Right now people with good intentions buy stolen bikes because there has not been a single searchable resource to check before buying a bike. Bike Index is that resource. The next time you buy a used bike, check the Index first. BikeIndex.org offers bike shows and law enforcement an easy to use interface to look up any suspicious bikes they encounter, and a way to quickly contact the proper owner.
For more information about registering your bike or theft prevention tips please visit www.bikeeastbay.org.
Thanks for taking the time to consider using the bike theft prevention measures—ride safely!