May 27, 2016
“Bikes Are Being Stolen In My Apartment Complex! How Can I Protect Mine?”
If you have any questions about home security or automation that you’d like to ask, you can always send your inquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’d be more than happy to answer them!
Kemet, a young student, cyclist and Piper user, wrote in to us with a question that he’d like any cyclists reading to help answer:
For some reason it looks like bikes are starting to get stolen quite frequently in my apartment complex. I’ve lived here for 2 and a half years now and am pretty frustrated because I don’t have room to store my bike inside my actual apartment unit. Never before has this been a problem, but now that bicycle theft seems to be on the rise, I’d like to know if there are any security precautions you’d recommend I take. I know I’m going to have to buy a lock, but is there a certain type or brand in particular I should be looking for?
Hi Kemet, I’m sorry to hear about the bicycle theft plaguing your complex. It’s really unfortunate that people have no problem taking things that don’t belong to them.
That being said, there are a few ways you can keep your bicycle safe that I recommend:
1. Register With Bike Register
First thing’s first: when you buy a bike, make sure to register it through a database like Bike Register. Police departments use these sorts of websites to match stolen items with their owners. You can also confirm that a secondhand bike you’d like to buy isn’t actually a stolen one!
2. Hide Your Bike Amongst The Crowd
Try your hardest to secure your bike in a spot where there are many other bikes. This minimizes the chances of your bike being the chosen one for a burglary.
3. Don’t Forget To Secure Your Bike Frame
Too many people choose to simply lock their bike by the wheel. They think that a burglar won’t steal a bike if they have to remove a wheel to do it. Well, they’re wrong. The most important rule of burglary is that thieves want to get their targeted item as quickly as possible. When you secure a bike exclusively by the wheel, you immediately give them the chance to make off with it in record time. It’s too time consuming to cut through 2 layers of steel, so by securing your bike by the frame you’re eliminating the amount of thieves that would even attempt to take your bicycle.
4. Personalize Your Bike
You don’t have to paint your bike rainbow, but doing something to give it a personal touch will make people think twice before taking it. A generic bike can be passed off as a coincidence, but a monogram or marking might be a tough thing to explain to law enforcement.
5. Park Next To Something Prettier
If you had the chance to snatch up a 10 or a 5 which would you take? There are some perks to having an ugly bike.
6.Change Parking Spots
Don’t park your bike in the same spot every day. Sometimes thieves scope out their prey for extended periods of time to understand the habits their owners have when it comes to locking techniques and the like. By varying your parking you help them to forget your bike even exists in the mountain of bikes your apartment complex has in its storage room.
7. Use High Quality Bike Locks
It’s so easy to think that buying a cheap lock is good enough because a lock itself should be daunting enough for a thief, right?
Seasoned burglars know the difference between cheap and quality locks. It’s much better to spend the extra few dollars on a quality one than to be sorry later. Here’s a great resource for discovering what lock is best for you.
8. Lock Your Bike To Something Heavy
If you lock your bike to a super light post, the burglar could easily uproot it and de-chain your bike. Choose the most solid post you can find!
9. Attach A Tile To It
You can simply attach a Tile tracker under your bike seat using a zip tie or other fastener. A Tile tracker is a tiny Bluetooth device and easy-to-use app that finds everyday items in seconds—like your phone, keys, and wallet.
You can then leverage the entire Tile community to be on the lookout for your bike. If anyone running the app comes within 100 feet of your stolen bike, you will get an email with its updated location! Here are two recent examples of a stolen bike being found in a pawn shop, and another one where it was uptown in New York.