Bike theft is on the rise in Calgary. Be proactive by having a record of your bike serial number, proof of purchase and a photo showcasing all the rad bike accessories that make your bike special. This information will come in handy if you bike is stolen and you need to file a report with the police. But the best defence is a good offence so fight bike theft by following these tips to make it harder to steal your ride.
How to Lock a Bike
Buy a good lock. Even a bicycle worth $100 can attract a thief if it's easy to steal.
- Do not use a cable lock. They can be cut in seconds with cheap cable cutters.
- Those fancy gears are worth more so loop a high-quality U-lock through the frame and rear tire then secure the front tire with an additional cable if it has a quick release.
- Theft prevention bonus points if you take the time to take off your front wheel. The longer it takes to steal a bike, the less likely it is to disappear.
- Go the extra mile and replace quick release skewers with a locking wheel skewer such as Pinheads. Bike components such as saddles, wheels and handlebars are regularly stolen even if you have secured the bike well.
Your trusted local bike dealer can help you select the hardware and show you how to use it.
Where to Lock your Bike
- Ensure that your U-lock is connecting your bike frame to a stationary immovable object.
- More than 50 % of bike thefts happen in garages and secure parkade locker rooms. Always lock your bike to something, even when at home
- Test it. Always give the object a vigorous shake and make sure your bike can’t easily be slipped over or under whatever you are locking it to.
- Bro, don't be that guy! Locking your bike to trees, street signs and handrails isn’t cool. If the bike rack is full there probably is another one around the corner.
- If you can't find a decent place to lock up your bicycle, talk to the building management or contact the city to request a bike rack.
- More than 50 % of bike thefts happen in garages and secure parkade locker rooms. Always lock your bike to something, even when at home.
Has Your Bicycle Been Stolen?
If your bicycle has been stolen, do the following:
- File a police report. Reports can be filed online, by calling the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line (403-266-1234) or visiting a district office. If your bicycle has been stolen, the best chance of recovering it is by reporting the theft to the police.
- If you can prove your bike was worth more than $5,000, then it is considered a more serious criminal offence by police. You can try using Bicycle Blue Book as a starting point to determine your bike’s value.
- Log in to Bike Calgary and file a stolen bike report on our site. (You must be a registeredmember, but it's quick, easy and free).
- We'll tweet your bike report and the Good Life Bike Shop will also post it.
- You can see all stolen bike reports here, and there is also a RSS feed of stolen bike reports here.
- Contact your home insurance company. Depending on your coverage it may be worthwhile to pay the deductible if you had an expensive bike, but remember that your premium may increase if you claim the loss.
- Your bicycle may show up on classifieds listings, so it may be worthwhile to check Craigslist, eBay, UsedCalgary, or Kijiji, and to set up email alerts for bikes that match your stolen bike.
- If you find it offered for sale, do not attempt to recover it yourself. Call police first and ask them what to do.
- In some cases, people have recovered bikes after posting flyers with pictures around the neighborhood it was stolen in.
- Get social. Spread information about the stolen bike on social media.
- Check out the Good Life's tips, too.
If you’re reporting a bike theft, have this important information on hand:
- Serial number of your bicycle (usually stamped on the underside of the bottom bracket, and recorded on your sales receipt if the bike was purchased new at a bike shop).
- Proof of ownership (sales receipt or repair receipts).
- Description of bicycle and parts (preferably a photo) -- make, model, colour, any installed accessories or distinguishing marks.
Comments? Questions? Post in the Stolen Bike forum.