Bicycle theft has grown over the recent years, even with a decline in many other types of theft. (FBI statistics) There are over 1.5 million bicycles stolen each year in the United States. While every town and city varies in its theft density, you can bet you know someone who has had to deal with the loss of a stolen bicycle at some point.
What to do? Practice the 3 R’s!
Take a digital photo of your bicycle. You may want to add some minuscule alterations to the bike that would make it easier to identify. Use a white out pen and mark the height of your seat p[ost just under the seat tube top. Store this photo in a safe place. Make sure it is one where you will remember it.
Register your bicycle with your local jurisdiction-police department or two or village. You might also decide to register it on a national registry such as https://www.nationalbikeregistry.com/. They make it relatively simple. The website can store your photo and bicycle data. The main action to take will be to find the serial number on your bicycle. The majority of serial numbers are located under the bottom bracket where the two pedal cranks meet. Turn your bike upside down and record the number. If there is no serial number near the cranks, you should check other common places including the front headset or rear stays.
Bottom line: Record the serial number and identifying characteristics with someone that can help you find your bicycle again!
Report the stolen bicycle right away. Bikes have been recovered as quick as 60 minutes after the theft. As soon as something happens to your bicycle the digital photo you took photo should go out on social media. If your opinion might be that the police department might not do anything, or that they won’t recover it so why bother, you are wrong in making this assumption. Police will do whatever they can to recover your bike. IF the bicycle is not reported then they surely can not do anything for you. Other businesses rely on the police department to find out if a bicycle that they are contemplating purchasing might be stolen or not. Pawn shops, used sports equipment stores, and other used bicycle outlets can only rely on police to know if a bicycle might be stolen property. Last, the statistics are necessary to convince community leaders that of the level of theft in the community.