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February 19, 2012

How to avoid bike thefts

Filed under: bicycling,Illinois — Tags: , — Roger @ 1:06 pm

I saw this story about bicycle thefts today in the Winnetka-Glencoe, Ill.,  edition of, and it drew my attention for a couple of reasons:

First, my older sister lives in nearby Evanston. Several years ago, my sister’s bicycle was stolen during a trip to downtown Chicago.

Second, a friend of mine had his car and bike stolen recently while working out at the East Belleville YMCA. Fortunately, both the bike and car were recovered mostly unharmed in nearby Cahokia.

While the tips offered wouldn’t have prevented the latter theft, they will help prevent the vast majority of bicycle thefts and enhance the chances you bike will be recovered if it is stolen.

Howard Kaplan, the creator of the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry, and Julie Hochstadter, the director of The Chainlink website for Chicago-area cyclists, boiled it down to five basic tips:

  • Lock your bicycle.
  • Use a U-lock instead of a chain lock.
  • Tie your bike to secure places.
  • Record your bike’s serial number.
  • Be on the lookout for portable, battery-operated power tools.

I encourage you to read the story to find out why this things are important. And if you’re from the Chicago area, I’d encourage you to visit the Chicago Stolen Bike Registry to learn about about bicycle thefts and see a map of where bikes have been stolen.


Share and Enjoy


  1. I read a security article a while back that suggested using a cable/chain lock and U-lock together, because thieves usually carry tools to bust one or the other but not both. And if your destination will allow it, take the bike in with you. (Folders, anyone?)

    Comment by mark — February 21, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

  2. It’s sad that we have to fear having our bicycles and vehicles stolen so much these days. I remember leaving my bike out in my front yard when I was a kid, and it was never stolen… Nowadays you look away from your bike for one second and *poof* it’s gone!

    Comment by Landon W — March 11, 2012 @ 12:49 pm

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