The Bakery: Stepping Up to Find Stolen Bikes

Aug 31, 2016 at 9:28
by Danielle Baker  
Bakery Logo

IT TAKES A COMMUNITY

TO FIND A STOLEN BIKE




A report released earlier this year stated that Vancouver residents alone had reported over 10,000 bike thefts in just 4.5 years. The Internet is full of statistics on bike theft – worldwide, a bike is stolen every 90 seconds and only 2.4% are returned to their owners. The question now is not so much if your bike will be stolen, but when.

According to the Vancouver Police Department’s website, in the summer months an average of nine bikes are stolen every day – an average of 2000 every year. ‘On the flipside, the VPD recovers roughly 2000 bicycles in a year. Unfortunately, the majority of them will never be returned to their owners, as their serial numbers have not been reported to police, making them untraceable. These bikes will end up at auction, but we'd rather return them to their rightful owners.’

Bikes looking for owners.
An archive photo of police storage after only one bike theft bust.

bigquotesIt was a downer to go pick it up at VPD property. They have a few thousand unclaimed bikes sitting there.
- Andrew Major

What isn’t included on the website is that even if you report your serial number with your stolen bike there is a of margin human error that has to be accounted for. With the variable length and alphanumeric make-up of serial numbers it can be challenging to accurately document them with the number of hands they must pass through. They first must be recorded perfectly by you, then by the officer taking your file, followed by any officer calling it when a potential stolen bike is found, and finally by the Stolen Properties clerk who logs it in. It’s one big game of telephone and we all know how that usually works out – your serial number is now ‘big purple elephant.’

There is, however, a human element that can also help find our bikes - our community. Earlier this year Andrew Major had both his bikes stolen from his secure storage in his building. He will tell you that it was his mistake for temporarily housing his bikes there, but the thieves hot-wired the garage door, made their way through the main steel door, and cut the locks to each of the storage units. It was the first break-in in his building in ten years. Andrew, feeling more “gut-punched and shocked than pissed at first,” immediately called the RCMP (police) who took his report over the phone. He then made a Facebook post noting the visually unique and identifiable parts of his bikes; including a Custom Toxik Harold paint job and Ohlins fork (not pictured). He also set up an automatic search on Craigslist – “from which I continue to get emails of other people’s obviously stolen bikes every day.”

Andrew Major s custom Honzo
These are the photos that Andrew posted to Facebook after the theft.
Andrew Major s custom Honzo

bigquotesI assumed I'd never see them again. I know a few people who've gotten bikes back but not many.
- Andrew Major

Meanwhile, JL Russell logged into Facebook to watch his daily selection of cat videos and saw Andrew’s post. It was still in the back of his mind when he spent a day downtown later that week. “As I was walking into the Art Gallery I noticed a guy on a bike that immediately caught my eye. I looked at the bike and thought, nice paint job, even got the stem custom painted to match; nice touch. An Ohlins fork? I've never actually seen that in real life. Then I looked up at the dude and thought, he looks maybe a little too sketchy to be on something that thought out. That and the fact that those forks weren't even available to buy yet, I pretty much immediately knew he was on a stolen bike.”

After JL realized that it might be Andrew’s bike he started running – hard! He caught up with the guy and had another look at the bike, he checked Facebook on his phone and confirmed that it was without a doubt one of the bikes that had been stolen from Andrew. “Funny enough, though, I kept really questioning myself through the whole ordeal. It really just seemed too easy. Like oh, there's Andrew's bike right there. No worries!”

JL followed the guy and the bike until he sat down in a park and that’s when he called the police. Having undercover officers all over the downtown core, they arrived in less than three minutes.

Photo J.L. Russell - Police talking to person found with stolen bike.
Photo J.L. Russell - Police talking to person found with stolen bike.

Photo J.L. Russell - VPD holding reclaimed stolen bike.
  "This was the moment I knew Andrew was going to get his bike back." Photo: J.L. Russell

bigquotesI hadn't expected to get anything back and this was huge! JL is the f*cking man! I've heard more than a few stories of guys getting calls or texts to the effect of 'dude, I saw your bike roll by today,' but JL went out of his way and go mine bike. That's huge!
- Andrew Major

The bike had been stripped – a set of old Chris King hubs built into silver Velocity Blunt 35 rims were gone and a bunch of other parts had been replaced. The most upsetting part for Andrew was that they had been replaced with parts from at least five other stolen bikes; “that was a piss off.”

A very similar story took place just last month in Bellingham, Washington. Paris Gore was eating lunch with a group of friends when his bike was taken out of the back of their truck. "We were sitting across the street at a diner, it couldn't have taken more than a second. Whoever did it was good because we had a pretty good eye on the truck at almost all times," said Paris. Like Andrew, Paris immediately called the police and then posted a photo and description of the stolen bike on Facebook; including the bright yellow colour and custom American flag Evil decals.

Stolen bike Facebook post.
  Paris posted to Facebook immediately about his stolen bike and then reposted something a little more dramatic to keep people engaged.

Eric Brown happened to be driving home from a day of trail-building a week after seeing Paris' post on Facebook when a neon yellow bike caught his eye. He did a lap around the block to get a better look, “I could tell that the Evil stickers had been taken off and some sketchy looking dude was sitting on it.” Eric did a third lap around the block to triple check and called 911. He then called a friend, Chris Pascucci, to join him for support and Paris, who was out of the country, to verify details of the bike. They followed the guy and bike to an apartment building nearby while on the phone with the police. Eric then got out of his truck and confronted them, saying, “That yellow bike sitting in your yard is my buddy’s and I’m on the phone with the cops right now.” When the police arrived they took the bike but were unable to press charges; the guy claimed he bought it on Craigslist for $500 and he had no idea it was stolen.

The thieves removed the custom Evil stickers from Paris Bike but neglected to remove this longlivechainsaw decal. Stevie was looking out for him photo Danielle Baker

bigquotesWe weren't 100% sure it was Paris' bike until we flipped it over and saw the Long Live Chainsaw sticker on the top tube.
- Eric Brown

"I was feeling pretty ecstatic, I actually had just gotten off the phone with an insurance investigator about my bike when Eric called." Paris was in the middle of a photo shoot and had gotten reception for the first time in a few days when his phone rang; "Eric doesn't call me often, and I just had a feeling it had something to do with my bike." The only damage to the bike when Paris picked it up from the police was a disconnected seat post dropper and the peeled off custom decals. "I feel lucky to live in a good community of people who were immediately on the lookout for my bike."

Paris went on to point out the importance of taking the right steps when you think you see a stolen bike. "There's actually a guy in town here that rides the same colour Evil Insurgent around town. He doesn't fit the typical mountain biker look as he usually wears his painter's clothes. Unfortunately, he gets heckled a lot because people think he stole the bike as it seems out of place, but he really does own the bike. I felt really bad when mine got stolen because more people would be on the lookout, and I'm thankful that no one did anything stupid to him; as much as people talk about assaulting thieves with stolen bikes we have to remember that there are people out there like this guy, and I can't imagine what would happen if someone threw a punch over the bike. I ended up posting a picture and description of him on his bike just so people knew not to mess with him."

Paris Gore shows off the bike he thought he would never see again with Eric Brown who found it and identified it to the cops. Photo Danielle Baker
Paris Gore shows off the bike he thought he would never see again with Eric Brown who found it and identified it to the cops. Photo Danielle Baker

Paris Gore shows off the bike he thought he would never see again with Eric Brown who found it and identified it to the cops. Photo Danielle Baker

This in no way is a call for vigilante justice – but a reminder that we are all in this together, and we have a responsibility to our community to not to look the other way when something doesn’t feel right. JL, Eric and Chris all went above and beyond and I don’t advocate that anyone else should engage with a potential bike thief (because they may not be), but do your part. Keep your eyes open and call the police.

bigquotesCommunity is so important for combating bike theft. Without a network of people sharing information and keeping an eye out, we'd be in more trouble for sure. You've got to look out for your neighbour and friends! Andrew's was the third stolen bike I've gotten back for someone I know and it feels great! Every time it worked out because of sharing photos online and putting the word out.
- JL Russell



123 Comments

  • 37 3
 Keep in mind, 80% of these stolen bikes are valued below $500... and Most thefts are opportunistic. How many of these stolen bikes were properly locked? very few... some studies show that over 80% of bikes locked in urban centers not locked effectively. ... ... A good lock and some common sense goes a long way.
  • 9 0
 I just simply don't understand why people think the cheapest and lightest bike locks are the best choice. Might as well say goodbye to your bike right away.
  • 15 4
 SRAM will come out with endulock soon.
  • 13 0
 @chyu: Please don't say that. They might be reading this and creating a new department. In a few months they would be selling Enduro Locks for 26, 27.5 and 29er, Carbon Enduro Locks, Enduro Locks with touchscreen for password entry, Enduro locks with remote locks and so on.....

So please. Don't give them ideas!!!
  • 3 0
 @robbienroll: for what it's worth to whoever-- best lock combo/ Abloy 362 lock and pegaw chain or Almax 19mm Immobiliser chain.

m.youtube.com/watch?v=qSnS4ZkTGUY&feature=em-share_video_user
  • 19 0
 I have a city bike. This is a POS. Then I have my trail bikes that never leave my sight.
  • 2 1
 Typo: Pewag chain
  • 9 0
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYlBT1d_GWo
Must see funny bait bike pranks blowing thief's off bike with airbag.
  • 4 0
 My locked Opus Nelson 2.0 all-mountain bike was stolen in a break-and-enter into my locked shed in midtown Toronto back in August. (Nothing else was touched so it was obviously a targeted theft.) Lock was the best $35 carbide-blah-blah you can buy at Home Depot, but the police officer said a $50 pair of bolt cutters from the same store could take out any of their own locks like butter.

Thief posted the bike for sale for $500 or weed: toronto.craigslist.ca/tor/bop/5768856625.html. Appears to have been sold as the number is not in service and they won't respond to emails. I've posted my own Reward ad to buy it back for the price paid: toronto.craigslist.ca/tor/bik/5785424489.html. Hopefully some good person returns it at some point - but I pity the person who pedals it past me on the trail....

So no, if you have an expensive bike, a half-decent lock is not enough - just spend another couple hundred dollars and get a nice big chain (I got the On Guard Beast for my eventual replacement bike) and some sort of security alarm system! It's not worth the pain and hassle of dealing with scumbags.
  • 3 0
 @chyu: the standard for key size will change every 9 months. They are working on an electronic version too
  • 1 0
 Wait a second.. he said he bought the bike for $500... thats admission of guilt straight away, anyone would know that bike is not worth $500. In the UK its covered in the law by "Handling stolen goods", which is a trialable offense.
  • 5 0
 The best lock that I have come up with is to bolt a big ring to the bed of my truck, then run a thick chain I bought a Home Depot through it and lock it together with a Master Round Padlock. To protect my bike from the chain, I slid an old bike tube over it. Maybe I could make a video of how I did this if anyone would be interested.
  • 3 0
 @properp: had 3 POS bikes stolen, and it's not the losing them, it's the walking home...
  • 1 0
 @GotNuts: For me it's rather the emotional aspect, since I never buy stock complete bikes and I always spend so much time searching for the perfect set up to finetune it.
  • 1 0
 Very well said. This is why I lock my bikes up in my home, in the bathroom. At that point they'll have to go through a war to get them. Anyone who leaves their bike outside, even on a rack, should expect it to be stolen.
  • 4 0
 A good pal of mine had his bike locked up nice and tight. The thief cut through the top tube and left the lock! They took it for the parts, or maybe they stickered the top tube and took it to a pawn shop. Nobody will likely ever know now.
  • 9 1
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L O C K S
K E E P
T H E
H O N E S T
P E O P L E
O U T

E X P E C T
N O T H I N G
M O R E
  • 3 0
 No Meth or Heroin in your neck of the woods. Just saw a tweaker with a triple clamp on a hardtail in my town.
  • 1 0
 @diggerandrider: Thanks for video Man!!! If that chain is really made of the steel that is harder than the boltcutter's steel than it could work... I think I will try it.
Thanks again!
  • 3 0
 @Marcusthefarkus: I sleep with my bike... Wife hates me. Yesterday she promised to go away... Don't know what to do.
  • 3 8
flag pinnityafairy (Sep 29, 2016 at 15:17) (Below Threshold)
 @endlessblockades: A good guy with a GUN keeps the thief from stealing over n over. Remove the wicked or they will pollute the earth.
  • 1 0
 it's all fine and good to say buy the biggest strongest lock you can find, but for the ones that are bikepacking or similar, would you be keen to carry and extra three or four kg's around?
  • 1 0
 @freeriderayward: When you are dependant on your bike, you need to secure it.
  • 1 0
 @robbienroll: A lock that can only be unlocked by wifi or bluetooth probably isn't that bad an idea. It's in everything else!
  • 1 0
 @BorisBC35: You can probably hack a wifi/bluetooth connection easier than you can pick a lock. particularly in this day and age.
  • 1 0
 @GotNuts: @GotNuts: just turn on your Strava and run home. If you run enough you might be able to run down the next scum bag.
  • 11 0
 There is opportunistic bike theft and then I feel there is a fully organised system. I have seen reports where police will bust a house with hundreds of stolen bikes stored there.

As stated elsewhere in the comments they get multiple bikes and swap out components, rough them up a bit, or simply ditch the frame completely. I wouldn't be suprised also if they do not move the sale locations of the bikes a county over (easier to do in the UK) or sell from another city.

I had my GT DHi stolen from my shed. It didn't re-appear for years and I actually saw it re-sold on here. By that time it had most of the components swapped out and the paint stripped but still enough of it remained for me to recognise it. I didn't do anything about it though.
  • 3 0
 Here in New Mexico there's been an organized ring that follows people from the trailhead until they go to get a beer or go home and wait to snatch it, they then take it to Chihuahua, Mexico and sling them on a Facebook page in Ciduad Juarez. They caught one of the guys, but with that type of system, I'd imagine there will be more.
  • 3 0
 @Klainmeister: Same here in The Netherlands. If your bike was locked properly odds are big it disappears forever to East-Europe. There are whole East-European gangs active who drive to our country with their van, load it up with stolen bikes, drive back and sell it there. (And no, I'm not racist, I'm East-European myself too)
  • 11 1
 @Mattin: Reminds me a joke when I lived in Germany: "Come visit Poland, your car is already here!"
  • 6 0
 @Mattin: Don't worry, here in America, it's impossible to be racist against anyone from European decent.
  • 2 0
 @Klainmeister: Here in the US, high-end bike thefts usually move across state lines on a southbound route. Bikes stolen in Colorado end up in New Mexico or Arizona, Washington bikes end up in Orange County CA, etc. Often posted to CL about 2-3 months after the theft with different parts.

Making an automatic CL search is an awesome idea. I found an old hardtail frame that was stolen from me in Tacoma, WA on an Orange County CL post 8 months after it was stolen. By that point everything had been stripped, I'd replaced the bike under property insurance, and it wasn't worth the effort of tracking down the seller. Only knew it was my frame because it still had the bike shop sticker from Denver CO on the downtube. Still wish I'd gone after him/her in retrospect.
  • 10 0
 I realize frames are often discarded but it would be nice if frame makers could add an RFID chip or something similar. Like micro-chipping a pet. Then it's "true identity" could be ascertained quickly and accurately with a scanner.
  • 4 0
 I think this is a thing...I can't even remember what it is called, but I feel like a recent Interbike article or something talked about this exact thing. Some manufacturers are apparently considering laying them into carbon weaves, or putting them under paint and clear coat. scannable by a smart phone and registered to the proper owner. Hopefully someone else will see this, and fill in the details that my ganja habit keeps me from remembering...
  • 1 0
 @querent @VwHarman that's a company my buddy works with. They do an RDiD sticker. VerifiR - about 2/3 down the page on this page www.pinkbike.com/news/more-madness-from-las-vegas-interbike-2016.html
  • 8 0
 It's a horrible feeling when you wake up and find your bikes stolen. Happened to me 3 times over 16 years. All different addresses, all locked in sheds or locked outside in the last case. I never saw the bikes again, with exception of the last one which I found myself for sale online and gave all the details to the police who retrieved it. It had been stolen and sold twice in 2 days!

But, and this is question, would you really want it back? Most bikes are not retrieved in the condition stolen, parts swapped, damaged to make them less obvious as the original. I lost out to both thefts first time as house insurance didn't cover the cost of the bikes. My own fault. But would I have wanted them back? I don't know.. Sure if they were completely as found, but if not, and assuming properly insured, I'd probably rather take the money.

The retrieved bike was unchanged but i still lost 200 euro in broken lock and a few removed components. And it was only my commute bike..
  • 7 0
 i have got a nice story to tell about this topic: last December somebody stole my Giant Glory out of my basement, luckily my insurance covered that and i got myself a 2015 Norco Aurum 6.2. This year June i saw my stolen giant glory on an online secondhand-store and told the police that i found my bike on the internet. couple of days late police and I went to that person who was trying to sell my bike, long story short i got my Giant Glory back. At this moment it still belonged to the insurance-company. i thought that if i want the giant glory back i had to pay all the money back i originally got from the insurance, but somehow they said i could have the glory for 400€. Now i have got a almost new Norco Dh bike and my "old" Giant Glory.
  • 4 0
 what's your insurance company? I have read a lot of comments of insurance that doesn't cover bike thefts
  • 2 0
 Renter's/Home Owner's insurance should cover personal belongings.
  • 1 0
 @JoseBravo: Yeah, I just got a 2017 Scout from my home insurance.
  • 12 2
 I'd say the person who stole the Insurgent is pretty Evil!
  • 20 25
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 29, 2016 at 3:58) (Below Threshold)
 I'd say for once we could stop making puns. Under such serious article they won't get much following
  • 5 0
 Don't worry, their day of wreckoning will come!
  • 5 2
 @WAKIdesigns: Would you suggest that all these pun replies be locked?
  • 5 7
 What was wrong with my pun? Was it too long? Please undead it.
  • 2 0
 @WAKIdesigns: must've fallen victim to pinkbike's anti-pun faction...
  • 10 0
 All my bikes are protected by EXTREME violence !
  • 7 0
 Cut off the thief's hands. They will no longer want a bike to ride.
  • 4 0
 @properp: Cut off their legs. They will no longer be even able to ride one
  • 1 0
 @paul-bee: up top I post about a gun and everyone down votes it. I post cut off their hands and it gets up voted. PB sure is full of twisted people. Nice to know here on PB extreme violence is cool as long as it don't involve a gun. LOL
  • 6 0
 Having just had my dream bike stolen - this is heartwarming. Props to anyone that helps - it's nasty seeing a bike you think is stolen, but unable to do much about it as well.
  • 3 0
 I was once sat in a bar having a beer, saw my recently stolen bike cycle past on the road outside, jumped up, sprinted out the bar and after it, was then jogging along side it wondering what I was about to do next and looked down at it and realised it wasnt actually my bike! Guy gave me a pretty strange look haha XD
  • 5 0
 over the years I've had 3 motorbikes and 4 bikes stolen. If I ever catch the mother f**kers in the act, there's always the chance they won't be going home again. Now i've got mad security, rollershutter doors, high, barbed gate, locks on locks aaagh it makes me soo mad. We even had a guy stealing my GF's panties...freak...got caught in the end, makes me want to set traps for them
  • 5 0
 I had my 2015 Trek Slash stolen in June, then about a month ago a police drugs team raided a meth & heroin house and found it. The police officer is a rider and he posted photos on Facebook of the bikes that they found. One of them was mine. Great ending. www.dcourier.com/news/2016/aug/26/heroin-meth-found-prescott-home-police-also-recove
  • 3 0
 Only takes one serialized component to catch a thief if there wasn't any proof of buying it off craigs list or its a dead giveaway if its scratched off. My bike got nicked and the policeman told me the junkies steal 20 and switch all the parts scatch the frame so there is no hope of getting your bike. It also makes it way harder to prove they stole them all, plus if you chuck the frame your free to sell the rest as components with out any hassle. Dont want to see anymore new standards unless its for serial numbers. You could even create a standard for this and use a system similar to MAC addresses to assign a block to each manufacturer. That way the industry is happy because they get a new standard to market.
  • 3 0
 Every lock can be broken .. it's only a mater of time(minutes) and skill of the thief.
Only real use of it is to avoid troubles for short time in opened space.
And of course someone can steal some components and it's still a bad situation.

What I consider better is a GPS tracker installed in/on the frame.
You have much better chances of finding out in useful time that your bike was stolen and you know where it is in real time.
This solution has problems too of course:
- I found no available device suitable for installation (size and battery life) right out of the box so you have to pick a small one and install a bigger battery (BTW, do some research if you want to try this, batteries can actually explode if charging or installation is improperly done).
- GPS signal is not available everywhere, true. But you usually have the GSM signal location and you can locate it within a range of 500m. And most trackers have a Geofence feature which will inform you when the bike leaves some predefined area and you can trigger a monitoring until GPS signal is lost (where the stolen bike is first stored). This can be done also with
- tracker cannot be installed inside metal frames because you don't have any chance to get GPS signal lock. So you must be creative and mask it somewhere on the frame. But the battery and the cables (biggest part) can be hidden inside the frame.
- if discovered, these devices can be easily dismounted. But what thief thinks about such device or does anything about it in the immediate moments after the thief took place? If installed with properly, chances are the device remains undetected even after all bike parts are dismounted.
- costs: device, battery, other tools for installation and monthly/annual fee for GSM network services. This adds up to about double of a good bike lock and comparable to a bike insurance (which would not pay you the full bike price anyway).


The above is what you can do.
But the police could actually do more than just waiting for the bikes to be stolen by the society parasites. That would be bike thief "fishing".
Take a "stealable" bike, leave is as bait and catch all M0 F0kr$ one by one.
And the Justice system could also be actually protecting the society from these parasites and give some proper sentences.
It's not only the stolen bike value that counts but primarily the act of stealing itself that should be adequately punished.
This can be applied to all crimes of course and there are so many advantages to all affected parties (identity of the police investigators can be protected and there are no witnesses to protect).
But it would not make headlines so why should the greatest parasites of the world (found among politicians) care?
  • 3 0
 Hey guys really this is all useless... The only thing that could stop thief of stealing the bike is if boltcutters stop being sold open-wide to whomever want to buy it. So just think about it... Where the hell in normal live do we need to use boltcutters??? I do all minor repair at home by myself - installing electrical socket, repairing my washing machine, changing pump in my top-supported boiler, maintaining my bike (that is my favorite))) ) and I have never needed a boltcutter!!!! So if they were sold only to construction workers with special permission there would be less stealing...
  • 1 0
 what about cordless grinders? literally nothing is safe
  • 1 0
 @simeon10: time, noise->attract attention->less posibility. But still possible. Anyway, less posibility is not bad too...
  • 2 0
 @ivankvkharkiv: I had to cut a u-lock lock that I'd lost the key to. In my driveway. Told the kids to stand back, everyone put on goggles, ear protection. Had a diamond disk... I took it really slow but was through the lock in about 4 seconds, with very little noise or fuss. Was super not noisy or dramatic. I cut it again to see how quick if I was in a hurry and was through in less than a second, could have been quicker but I was concerned with not damaging anything around it.

I don't believe there is anything that can protect against an angle grinder, makes sense if I can cut quartz with it...

For what is probably the best (heavy/expensive) chain look up "Pewag Hardened Chain", but then you need an expensive lock too... or they'll steal your expensive chain. I think its best to just never let the bike out of your sight...
  • 1 0
 @captaingrumpy: you're right, i don't let my bikes out of my sight these days
  • 3 0
 Are you kidding me @dbaker? An entire front page story written about stolen bikes without any mention of 529 Garage? project529.com/garage An article that has two happy endings is great and all, but most of the story focuses on a professional photographer's massive social media following rushing in to save the day. Law enforcement agencies INCLUDING THE VANCOUVER POLICE DEPARTMENT are rallying around 529 Garage, and it would be RAD to see the Pinkbike community get behind it too! If you haven't heard of it, take a look through their website & app. Neat concept. (I've got no affiliation with the company, but I like their idea/product and have registered all my bikes.) I also get the nearby stolen bike reports sent to my phone, so I can keep an eye out for 'em, and you should too!
  • 2 0
 Had my bike stolen last year shortly before Christmas. filled a police report and after many months a member of pinkbike spotted it for sale on eBay, after informing the police i managed to get it back in almost the same condition it was taken (minus the forks being trashed) the biggest kick in the teeth was the day after it was stolen the police found my bike took it off the person who was riding it and then returned it to them the following day.
  • 2 0
 get the best lock you can when it is out of your vision or reach, when at home, pics of the serial number and receipts, instlal tracking chip on frame, keep it in the house locked to something with the best lock you can get, have a security system on the house, and as a last resort, a gun to prevent the thief from leaving the house with your bike........
  • 2 0
 I am curious if there is anything similar in the Toronto area, I had my bike stolen from my condo's bike lock area (it's not caged, just open). My bike was targeted as it was the only nice bike in the whole lot. It's a uncommon brand (Sette Serum carbon HT) and I tried searching for it right after I noticed it was missing. So far no luck, posted on PB, FB, and other local site.

Link to my PB post Frown

www.pinkbike.com/buysell/1630683
  • 4 0
 They say there's a special place in hell for bike thieves. Where they burn for all of eternity while being sodomized with lefty shocks.
  • 3 1
 Check out Datatag cycle kits. They allow you to mark all the components either with ultra violet markings or datadots. That way even if the bike is broken up the police can identify the stolen parts and prosecute the scumbags that have them. Cheap easy to fit and they work world wide. www.datatag.com
  • 1 0
 you can use it on the bike which is standing on a parking and then just take it from it's original owner with the help of police... Hope police won't assume this system as an evidence. Maybe only as an indirect proof...
  • 2 0
 I have a happy bike theft story. Gf and I had our bikes stolen, locks cut in a park. We filed the police report at about 10 pm. The next morning we woke up and went back to the area, cruised around town looking for them and we finally just gave up. We decided to head back to my house (in a different city) we were both driving our own cars and we're going to meet at the gas station. I got to the gas station and waited about 10 mins and gf never showed up. Checked my phoned, and she left me a message saying she saw a guy riding her bike and was following him. She followed him and he went into a store and left it outside unlocked. She went up grabbed it and began trying to throw it in her car. The thief came out and they got into an arguing match. She asked the clerk to phone police but he wouldn't so she phoned me. By the time I got there she had gotten the thief to cooperate (by making a huge scene in the store). The thief then offered to take me to my bike. So he gets in my car and we start driving(yes a very dumb idea) we get to this apartment and he tells me to park out back and walk out front with him. So I do, then he invites me into the apartment and I say hell no. Just then another guy comes riding out of the back on my bike (spd pedals still attached) so I start running after him and once I got beside him and was ready to push him, he steered into the curb and fell off. I grabbed my bike ran it back to my car threw it on the rack and got the fck out of there. Bikes were missing less than 24 hours in a city 300,000+ people.
  • 2 0
 Locks are useless imo. A good theif has got it all figured out. What makes me mad here is the police. They dont care at all about a stolen bike. My electric bike got stolen and kept calling every few months to see if something showed up and always no. Finally the year end auction and what do you know it was there. Police deparment makes alot of money of stolen bikes so they got no motivation to help fix this problem.
  • 1 0
 My question is, did Paris Gore get a fresh set of American Flag decals to replace the lost ones, or did he pick something else? Because I have deep respect for personal taste, but damn if that isn't a L O U D combination, particularly for a photographer.

Either way, congratulations to Mr. Gore and every owner reunited with his or her bike, and kudos to everyone who helps that happen! I hope I get the chance to help someone out that way someday (not that I would wish bike theft on anyone); I bet it feels amazing.
  • 1 0
 The numbers are actually much worse than described in this post (which said worldwide a bike is stolen every 90 seconds). Even only in our little country with 16 million residents, there are averagely 311 registered stolen bikes per day. Which means roughly once every 4 minutes averagely. And those are only the registered ones. I'm guessing the real numbers could even be double of this. Only in our small country. Look at it worldwide and you probably get hundreds or maybe even thousands of bikes stolen every minute.
  • 3 1
 High end bikes represent a very small portion of these statistics, particularly when consider the stats on a global basis.
  • 1 0
 @cmcrawfo: No one was talking about high end bikes when mentioning those numbers
  • 1 4
 @Mattin: Considering the demographics for this website, the only relevant stats are high end bikes.
  • 1 0
 @cmcrawfo: That makes as much sense as a potato does.
  • 1 0
 I'm fortunate enough to own and ride a Yeti SB6C 30th edition bike. There are a total of 50 frames in that color and frame size. How does that affect the appeal for thieves in your opinion? Also, the bike is "stored" in my living room, so nicking it would involve breaking and entering my apartment... Any thoughts?
  • 9 0
 I store my bike in the house - if someone breaks into a house the police response here in the UK, and I imagine elsewhere, is far greater than if a bike is stolen from an outside area or, say, a shed. I think that is the best deterrent where possible. That and I watch my bike like a hawk... I even caught some guy on an uplift day take my bike off the trailer and start walking off with it 'by accident'. Sadly you have to be alert everywhere these days...
  • 3 0
 Theft is opportunistic, most are stole primarily as a mode of transportation or a "joy ride", the next most common reason they are stole if for quick cash .... the least likely reason that a bike is stolen, is because it has been targets for a specific buyer (as would your case/concern)
  • 3 0
 I had two bikes stolen out of my living room in April this year while I was out of town overnight. The theif broke a window and climbed on a bin to get in. The police were great and finger printed that night, and I had them back the next day. Unfortunately both covered in blue spray paint, and my hardtail had its rear wheel swapped out. Turns out it was a 13 year old kid. I think they had seen me coming and going with my bike. I was really lucky, as I later found out my contents insurance was still at my old place that I moved out of 4 months earlier. This was 4 days before in interstate MTB holiday, so I had some late nights disassembling and stripping paint.
  • 2 0
 @jakevw: Good to hear that there was a happy end of sorts. I hope that little shit got what he had coming. I'm living in the upper floors of an apartment building, so no one should be coming through the window...
  • 3 0
 kind of feel like this article is of main benefit of industry bros with a huge circle jerk of followers. Average PB user is powerless
  • 1 0
 I called the cops on some "shady" people wheeling a bike through a parking lot next door to my work (a hospital). The back end of the bike was lifted up and I could see the lock through the back wheel. I dont think that the cops ever actually caught them as they were heading towards a train station nearby, but I felt good that I did my part as a good citizen. Even if that bike was just some walmart special, I know it would suck for the owner to walk out of the hospital and have his bike stolen.
  • 1 0
 A friend of mine biken home from work sees kids riding around playing in the street on his block and one of them is riding a MOOTS TI mtn bike. He goes up to the kid and tells him I'm gona give you 20bucks for this bike and I'm gona take it and find the owner because its stolen if you or anybody has a question or problem about this I live right here.He takes the moots to the local bike shop in the neighborhood post pics on the web the owner pics his moots up that week and pays him his 20 bucks back!
  • 1 2
 Sweet story, but buddy deserved more then his $20 back.
  • 1 0
 @tigerteeuwen: That's not how the game works. I advise you to please review the Bro Code rules and regulations.

Rule 2 states "Properties returned shall be done so only in an honest, sincere manner motivated not by personal gain or want but by a true love, respect and understanding of our brothers and sisters."
  • 1 0
 So I live in Norway, one of the richest countries in the world, unfortunately though the police aren't much help. Had my brand new bike v10 stolen whilst I was in Sudan working on a child soldier project. Bastards had gotten through 4 locked doors. Fast forward a couple of years and I see a guy at a freeride festival with my bike. Was a little unsure if it was mine, but old mate couldn't remember where he bought the bike and it all sounded super sketchy. He later admitted that the bike was mine after i showed him the post in the stolen section of the local forum. Went to the police to report him for possesion of stolen goods with all the sms evidence. Police did nothing. Old mate still has the bike. As i got insurance money for it,it was no longer my bike, but damn i wanted a karma trip for this dude, who either stole it himself or knowlingly knew it was stolen
  • 3 0
 unfortunately, karma is imaginary.
  • 1 0
 What a hell?? Independently of your insurance this is the fact of stealing so the police had to arrest that guy anyway. In our country there is a department that is higher than police where you can write an complain on police. So definitely you can deal with this in some way in your country. Don't forget that it is their job to catch the thief and you pay them salary in your taxes!
  • 1 0
 i hear ya, mine went in a garage full of bikes a ride on lawnmower, tools etc. it was the only thing to dissapear. it was taken to order........
  • 1 0
 Had a guy bring a bike into the shop for service-he didn't know how to put air into the rear shock. It was a bike he had stolen from a customer about 2 months prior. I locked it into the stand and called the cops. He ran before we could beat him to death with old 25.4 handlebars. The bike felt dirty and molested, nobody wanted it. I think it went back to the insurance company.
  • 1 0
 "When the police arrived they took the bike but were unable to press charges; the guy claimed he bought it on Craigslist for $500 and he had no idea it was stolen."

A friend of mine was prosecuted for felony possession, even though he bought it from Craigslist. It is still on his criminal record.

I just reinforced his self-acknowledge fact of how stupid he was to buy the bike.
  • 1 0
 A proper longshot, i used to have a Grisley Stratos. This was way back in '97. Magnesium frame and the usual grisley build , proper old skool Full Suss, however it was one of only a few in the UK imported so therfore Rare as rocking horse doo doo.
Long story short pinched from my garage, it was recorded and the police gave me a crime number. That sucked losing that beast, it was ace machine back then.
never saw it again, but its out there somewhere.
Still hooked on Riding.

Note to the tech Bods, develop a PB App we can all carry in iphones / Android ( next to strava of course ) and have the stolen numbers register to check against.
  • 1 0
 A little late to this article, but here's my 3 cents: IMHO, the trick is not getting my bike stolen, but I also know locks only keep honest people honest. That being said, a cheap lock does nothing but waste money and take up space. Cheap U-locks do nothing, and cables are useless, as is the chain and padlock you got at the hardware store. Search online for "hardened security chain", there are many manufacturers and vendors (hardened chain takes special tools to cut, not readily available to the common scumbag). Then get a real lock to match. Working in a bike shop I would recommend spending AT LEAST 3-5% of the bikes' value on a lock system. Abus and Kryptonite both make some really good locks, but they're not cheap. And you shouldn't be either.
Next, know you're neighborhood. Prescott, AZ and many CA beach towns are notorious for "recovery homes". The people who run these places import addicts from all over the country, and the rate of recidivism is pretty high. So what's an out of town addict do to feed it's habit? The shop I worked in is in a CA (OC) beach town known for it's high number of these places and we constantly heard about bikes getting jacked. If you live near these places, and know that they usually look like and in fact are, private homes, be extra careful.
But sketchy people abound the world over. A friend who works for Shimano and lives in a really nice neighborhood got 4 bikes stolen out of his garage while he and his family slept. He has his own work area in his garage and like to wrench on his bikes with the door open. My guess is some D-nozzle drove by casing the 'hood and came back later, popping a side window and opening the garage door with a long wire. My friend joked about them making off with a couple of 26'rs, but I know it rattled his cage.
Recently, we were having dinner at local eatery after a big group ride in Palm Springs. All the bikes were stacked outside un-locked, right beside the door. We were sitting right inside the door. Guy comes up, jumps on a bike and rides off. Buddies give chase, one on foot, another on a bike. Thief rides around corner and tosses bike into truck, jumps in after it and driver floors it. Buddy on bike wisely gave up chase after truck turns into an "ethnically diverse neighborhood" (his words Wink . Month later we read about a bike theft ring in Palm Springs Frown
Bottom line: Get a Really good lock and use it everywhere, home, in car, outside package store or coffee shop. Don't make your $hit obvious, keep garage doors closed and if open, cover nice stuff with old sheets. If you keep a bike in the car or a van, cover it up. If you commute, check the area where you leave your bike: check the bushes and surrounding area for bolt cutters. This is a common trick for bike thieves as they buy a big set of cutters and leave them near where folks park their bikes. Bust the lock or cable, ride off, and if they get stopped, no tools to incriminate. Last but not least, watch where you ride, especially where you end up. Be aware of people in cars, they could easily follow you to your work, house or burrito stop and jack your steed. Don't laugh, it happened dozens of times in New Mexico.

Here's something kind of funny though: This drunk comes into my shop and buys a $500 Trek hybrid. Tells me his wife took his car and kicked him out. He comes back 2 weeks later and buys another (exact same) bike. Tells me the first one got stolen. Buys a cheap lock. 3 weeks later comes back in for another bike. Grouses about lock getting cut. Buys same bike and same lock. 3 weeks go by and scenario is repeated again. He's on his 4 bike in as many months. I'm driving home one evening and notice a Trek hybrid leaned up outside a bar room door, lock neatly coiled around the seat tube. Couldn't help myself, took the bike back to the shop. It takes him almost 5 days to come in, going on about how some scumbag stole yet another of his bikes. I told him I know the scumbag and bring his bike out. I show him unused lock on the seat tube. He turns bright red, slurs a "thank you" ( i think) and leaves. I'll bet he's riding a specialized now from the other shop in town.
Be careful out there!
  • 1 0
 A little late to this article, but here's my 3 cents: IMHO, the trick is not getting my bike stolen, but I also know locks only keep honest people honest. That being said, a cheap lock does nothing but waste money and take up space. Cheap U-locks do nothing, and cables are useless, as is the chain and padlock you got at the hardware store. Search online for "hardened security chain", there are many manufacturers and vendors (hardened chain takes special tools to cut, not readily available to the common scumbag). Then get a real lock to match. Working in a bike shop I would recommend spending AT LEAST 3-5% of the bikes' value on a lock system. Abus and Kryptonite both make some really good locks, but they're not cheap. And you shouldn't be either.
Next, know you're neighborhood. Prescott, AZ and many CA beach towns are notorious for "recovery homes". The people who run these places import addicts from all over the country, and the rate of recidivism is pretty high. So what's an out of town addict do to feed it's habit? The shop I worked in is in a CA (OC) beach town known for it's high number of these places and we constantly heard about bikes getting jacked. If you live near these places, and know that they usually look like and in fact are, private homes, be extra careful.
But sketchy people abound the world over. A friend who works for Shimano and lives in a really nice neighborhood got 4 bikes stolen out of his garage while he and his family slept. He has his own work area in his garage and like to wrench on his bikes with the door open. My guess is some D-nozzle drove by casing the 'hood and came back later, popping a side window and opening the garage door with a long wire. My friend joked about them making off with a couple of 26'rs, but I know it rattled his cage.
Recently, we were having dinner at local eatery after a big group ride in Palm Springs. All the bikes were stacked outside un-locked, right beside the door. We were sitting right inside the door. Guy comes up, jumps on a bike and rides off. Buddies give chase, one on foot, another on a bike. Thief rides around corner and tosses bike into truck, jumps in after it and driver floors it. Buddy on bike wisely gave up chase after truck turns into an "ethnically diverse neighborhood" (his words Wink . Month later we read about a bike theft ring in Palm Springs Frown
Bottom line: Get a Really good lock and use it everywhere, home, in car, outside package store or coffee shop. Don't make your $hit obvious, keep garage doors closed and if open, cover nice stuff with old sheets. If you keep a bike in the car or a van, cover it up. If you commute, check the area where you leave your bike: check the bushes and surrounding area for bolt cutters. This is a common trick for bike thieves as they buy a big set of cutters and leave them near where folks park their bikes. Bust the lock or cable, ride off, and if they get stopped, no tools to incriminate. Last but not least, watch where you ride, especially where you end up. Be aware of people in cars, they could easily follow you to your work, house or burrito stop and jack your steed. Don't laugh, it happened dozens of times in New Mexico.

Here's something kind of funny though: This drunk comes into my shop and buys a $500 Trek hybrid. Tells me his wife took his car and kicked him out. He comes back 2 weeks later and buys another (exact same) bike. Tells me the first one got stolen. Buys a cheap lock. 3 weeks later comes back in for another bike. Grouses about lock getting cut. Buys same bike and same lock. 3 weeks go by and scenario is repeated again. He's on his 4 bike in as many months. I'm driving home one evening and notice a Trek hybrid leaned up outside a bar room door, lock neatly coiled around the seat tube. Couldn't help myself, took the bike back to the shop. It takes him almost 5 days to come in, going on about how some scumbag stole yet another of his bikes. I told him I know the scumbag and bring his bike out. I show him unused lock on the seat tube. He turns bright red, slurs a "thank you" ( i think) and leaves. I'll bet he's riding a specialized now from the other shop in town.
Be careful out there!
  • 3 0
 I got my Banshee Rune stolen last summer...thankful to have insurance. Death to the thieves.
  • 2 0
 Ive had a few bikes stolen. It always blows. Ive been looking at gps trackers, theres got to be a good one available that could be easily hidden
  • 1 0
 try products such as tile or something similar as there was a GPS ? RFID tag some dude setup and stuck under the saddle and was able to track "a la find my iphone" style
  • 1 0
 This summer we had a thief steal a bike straight out of our LBS. When all the employees were busy with customers they just walked in in the middle of the day and rode away with it. That takes some serious balls!
  • 1 0
 We had a crackhead smash the window out of our shop's front door a couple years back, then proceed to steal a pump, a drill, and the cheapest shittiest used bike in the shop worth maybe $200, despite there being $5000 bikes sitting right next to it. Some people just ain't right.
  • 1 0
 @MTBLegend92: We saw it pop up on craigslist for a few days. Then it disappeared. This one was worth like 4400 and the crazy thing is that everyone was in the shop when they stole it.
  • 3 0
 had my trail bike stolen a few weeks ago. devastating. death to all bike thieves indeed.
  • 1 0
 I reported a stolen bike and gave the serial number. The process and the individual on the phone never gave me much confidence. I always felt like that bike was going to be among the unreported.
  • 1 0
 Great article. Thanks, Danielle. Just took photos of my bike, serial number, and all components to keep on file. Bike is never in a shed or garage, always in the house. Keep up the great writing!
  • 2 0
 Take a photo of your serial number with your phone, even the receipt. You'll have proof of purchase everywhere you go.
  • 4 8
flag WAKIdesigns (Sep 29, 2016 at 3:53) (Below Threshold)
 You forgot about posting the photo to instagram Wink
  • 3 0
 Is this justification for going fully custom on every bike?
  • 2 0
 Get a good lock for your bike + use it. If you value your bike insure it. Most people do neither.
  • 4 1
 Death to all bike Thieves
  • 5 2
 A dead bike thief is a good one.
  • 3 1
 Vancouver Bike auction is out of this world.
  • 2 1
 Great stuff, having recovered a few stolen bikes my self there's a story I could tell an one that I probably shouldn't Wink
  • 5 0
 come on, now you have to.
  • 1 0
 We're about to launch the database for stolen bikes Australia - pretty good stuff - worth a look on FB
  • 2 0
 Thanks i like bike theft stories with happy endings.
Good tipsSmile
  • 1 0
 www.youtube.com/watch?v=-yTFiP_co0U

No locks on the bikes, but pretty funny.
  • 1 0
 bikeindex.org

Register your bikes, it works.
  • 1 0
 Vigilante Justice !!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 All bikes protected by EXTREME violence
  • 2 0
 YouTube: bait bike
  • 5 5
 Yup nothing worse than a horse thief or a bike thief for that matter
  • 2 4
 I just don't take my expensive bike to sketchy places.
  • 4 0
 Yes that's a good theory, but sometimes sketchy people just come to your place.

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