Tips on How to Avoid Bike Theft
Tips for buying a lock
You should be spending at least 10% of the value of your bike on locks, this should not be much less than €50.
Although locks all may look the same to you a thief will know the difference and will target a cheaper lock as it will be a lot easier to force open.
Buying two different types of locks is the best option; thieves will often carry a lock cutter for one type of lock, but not both.
Tips for locking your bike
Best to lock your bike to the ‘Sheffield’ type stands where they are available.
Always lock the wheels as well as the frame.
Many bikes come with ‘quick release’ wheels, these are easily stolen, your local bike shop can change the quick release part for less than €20 for both wheels. This goes for quick release saddle too, best to change the quick release there also.
Do not leave slack on a cable or chain lock, this creates an opportunity to lever the lock open, so wrap any loose cable or chain around again.
Do not leave the lock close to the ground, this creates an opportunity to smash the lock open with a hammer.
Many bikes are stolen because of what they are locked to not what they are locked with, make sure whatever you lock your bike to can not be moved or lifted like some poles can be.
Avoid poles if you can, you bike can easily fall over resulting in damage to your wheels.
Always lock your bike even at home in the shed or in work etc.
If your locking your bike in town consider using the Drury Street Car Park, they have a large section allocated to bikes.
Take down the frame number of your bike, this is normally located under the bike between the pedals
Take a photo of your bike, better still take a photo of yourself with your bike as proof that you have owned the bike.
If you’re unlucky enough to have your bike stolen make sure and report it to Gardaí, they do recover a lot of bikes but a lot do not get returned to owners because Gardaí have no way of knowing who owned them
Consider using one of the various bike registration schemes. Irishtown and Donnybrook Garda stations have started a trail registration scheme, call in for details and to have your bike registered
Please don’t buy stolen bikes, if the price sounds to good to be true it most likely is. Not only are you risking losing your money but you also feed into the bike theft business.
Check if you can insure your bicycle on your house insurance. Or consider getting separate bicycle insurance. CycleSure offer a discount to Dublin Cycling Campaign members.
There are many reputable places that sell secondhand bikes such as Rothar or you can check for Garda auctions of recovered bikes which can’t be returned to their owner.
Other Info: Click here for Garda security info sheet (PDF, 208kb)
Some Garda facts:
In 2009, €850,000 worth of bicycles were stolen in Dublin, so it’s a serious crime.
97% of bikes reported to Gardaí have no serial number; 6.6% of bikes are returned to owners; there’s a 10% detection rate.
A big increase in theft in the last few years (4076 in 2012 versus 1873 2008) is partly attributed to more & better bikes being on bought under the bike-to-work scheme. Average value has increased to €389.
Most thieves only carry one tool. Bolt cutters, pliers, and snips are used 77% of the time.
Also, the Gardai post pictures on this Flickr site of recovered stolen bikes
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