Preventing Bike Theft
Take all measures possible to prevent theft – bike theft happens! There are many online resources on how to lock your bike properly, what kind of lock to get, etc. Below are some tips on making sure your bike stays safe! Feel free to come into The Good Life to chat with one of our greasers or volunteers about the best way to lock your bike.
Document your bike. Make sure to have on file, in a safe place:
- the serial number of your bicycle (click here to learn how to find your serial number)
- proof of ownership such as sales receipt or repair receipts. Even if your bike is used and you have purchased it from an individual, still consider writing out a bill-of-sale for you and the seller to keep. There are many free bill-of-sale templates on the internet such as this one.
- a description of bicycle and parts (preferably a photo)
Lock your bike.
- Use a good lock, preferably a U-Lock.
- Always lock your bike, even if you are only going to be gone a few minutes.
- Lock your bike to something secure and sturdy, preferably a bike rack. Busy public places are usually a good choice when locking your bike.
- Store your bike inside your home or workplace when possible. Do not leave your bike in a shared area of an apartment building unlocked.
- Here are some more resources specifically about locking your bike
- Bike Calgary Bike Locking Instructions
- San Francisco Bike Coalition on Locking Techniques
- Locking your bike video – takes into account easy to remove parts
Report theft immediately. Even if you think there is no hope in finding your bike, reporting the theft to the police sends the message that bike theft is a problem in Calgary and is an issue that should be taken seriously.
Insure and register your bike.
- If you own an expensive bike, inquire to see if your home insurance covers bike theft and under what conditions, or consider other insurance options.
- Register your bike at Bike Index and Bike Shepherd. If your bike is stolen, these websites you to report it as stolen and and will help in bike recovery.
- If you own a Kryptonite lock, make sure to register your lock and keys. Some of their locks come with insurance for your bike if it is stolen. http://www.kryptonitelock.com/
For some more useful tips on preventing bike theft check out this useful guide.
If Your Bike is Stolen
1. Notify 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 Department 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.
2. Notify The Good Life, Bike Calgary and the Calgary Cycling community about the theft.
- Using our online form, you can report your stolen bike to The Good Life and Bike Calgary. Click HERE to access the form. Please note that you have to become a member of Bike Calgary and be logged in to submit a report.
- Please note that this submission system is meant to be a supplement to the police report, and not a replacement for it.
- This facilitates the ability of Good Life employees and members tolook out for your bike. Your listing will be added to Bike Calgary’s Stolen Bike Gallery and posted on the Stolen Bikes YYC Twitter and Stolen Bikes YYC Facebook Page.
- Add your bike theft to the BikeMaps.org page. You can also add bike accident reports here.
3. Check online classifieds to see if your bike is posted for sale.
- Try looking through ebay, craigslist, Kijiji‘s bicycle forums to see if your bike is being sold. There are also bike-specific listings, such as pinkbike.
- Look not only in your home city, but surrounding cities as well.
- This should be done frequently, as bikes tend to sell quickly. Also, you should check for several weeks after your bike is stolen. You can also create a Kijiji Alert and a Craigslist alert to be automatically notified by email when there are postings similar to your bike.
- RackLove has a great tool called the Stolen Bike Finder, which searches the internet for your stolen bike. We highly recommend that you try it!
4. Spread the word. Let the world know that your bike has been stolen!
- share the link to your Stolen Bike ad with friends (to find it, visit the Stolen Bike Gallery and click on your posting)
- try posting a wanted ad on the classified sites listed above
- report your bike as stolen on Bike Shepherd and Bike Index
- post your stolen bike on The Good Life’s facebook page, or tweet @goodlifebikes and @bikecalgary with hashtags #stolenbike and #yycbike with a link to your stolen bike report
- print out posters and distribute them around where your bike was stolen
- come into The Good Life with some posters that include contact information as well as a photo or a detailed description of your bike
- if you want some encouragement, see how social media and a police report helped this reporter get their bicycle back