Bike theft is on the rise. Losing a bike is never a fun prospect so we have some tips to help protect your ride:
- Buy the best lock you can afford, and ALWAYS lock your bike.
- It takes a minute to lock your bike. How much time would you spend having to replace your bike?
- Don't trust that your bicycle isn't worth enough to be attractive to a thief.
- Many stolen bicycles are just taken for joyrides, traded for cash or drugs, gutted for parts, or used by thieves themselves. Even a bicycle worth less than $100 can fit the bill if it's easy to steal.
Has Your Bicycle Been Stolen?
If your bicycle has been stolen, do the following:
- File a police report. If your bicycle has been stolen, the best chance of recovering it is by reporting the theft to the police.
- If there are suspects or investigative follow-up is required (e.g., if the area where you locked your bike is covered by video surveillance or if there are witnesses), report your stolen bike by calling the Calgary Police Service non-emergency line (403-266-1234) or visit a district office.
- Otherwise, and if your bike was worth less than $5,000, you can report the theft online. You can also report theft of parts and vandalism using the online system.
- File a stolen bike report on our site. (You have to be registered & logged in to do that, but it's free and usually quick).
- We'll tweet your bike report and the Good Life Bike Shop will post it. Other bike shops may follow suit.
- You can see all stolen bike reports here and there's an RSS feed of stolen bike reports here.
- Contact your home/renter's insurance company. Depending on your coverage, deductible, and premium increase if you claim the loss, it may not be worth it, but you should check especially if the bike was expensive.
- Your bicycle may show up on classifieds listings, so it may be worthwhile to check craigslist, ebay, or or kijiji.
- You can set up email alerts that match your bike on kijiji.
- Instructions for setting a Google Alert on Craigslist are here.
- If you find it offered for sale, do not attempt to recover it yourself: call the police first and ask them what to do.
- In some cases people have recovered bikes after posting flyers with pictures around the neighborhood.
- Check out the Good Life's tips, too.
Important information for reporting and recovering your bicycle which you should keep in a safe place, and have on hand when reporting a bike theft:
- 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 in a reputable bike shop),
- Proof of ownership (sales receipt or repair receipts), and
- Description of bicycle and parts (preferably a photo) -- make, model, colour, any installed accessories or distinguishing marks.
You may also consider registering your bike. Although Calgary Police does not check recovered bicycles against bikerevolution.ca as a matter of course, they may do so in the future, or your bike may end up in another jurisdiction where police do use that site. Calgary Police do use the Stolen Vehicle and Bicycle database of the Canadian Police Information Centre, though, both to record bikes reported stolen and to locate owners of recovered bicycles. (You can use it yourself to make sure you're not buying a stolen bike!)
You should also contact your home owner's or tenant's insurance and inquire about an endorsement for your bicycle(s).
Comments? Questions? Post in the Stolen Bike forum.