What Do You Do If Someone Steals Your Bike?

If you’re an avid cyclist, chances are your bike will be stolen at some point. Over 2 million bikes are stolen every year in the United States alone. Bike theft is one of easiest ways for a petty thief to make a quick buck. Parking your bike in a well trafficked area with a hefty U-lock may lessen the possibility that your bike will be stolen. And, a GPS tracker may help you recover a stolen bike. However, if your best efforts fail, there are a few steps that you can take to attempt to retrieve your bike.

What Do You Do If Someone Steals Your Bike?

The first action that you want to take if your bike is stolen is to contact your local police. Prior to calling the police, gather a photograph of your bike, your bike’s serial number, and any other identifying evidence that you think would help the police track down your bike. Recall where your bike was last parked, and how it was secured. It is best not to call 911, and instead file a report using your local police station’s non-emergency number. A detective will most likely follow up with you and ask you several questions about your bike’s disappearance.

Consider a Bike Registry

There are numerous bike registries dedicated to recovering stolen bikes. The National Bike Registry or 529 Garage is a popular option. Project 529 offers kits that allow you to place tamper resistant stickers which will let anyone (police or unaware buyers) trace your bike to you. Many parts of the country have local bike registries that focus on a specific region. Registration is free in some cases, or you may have to pay a small fee. You can register your bike as a preemptive measure before it goes missing, or you can register it after it has been stolen. Registering your bike in a bike registry is very similar to filing a police report. You will need some identifying information such as the color, make, and serial number of your bike. The more information that you are able to provide, the higher the likelihood that your bike will be returned.

Ask Around

A quick sweep of your local community may return your bike in record time. Petty thieves aren’t exactly known for their intelligence or work ethic. A quick chat with your neighbors, a trip to a nearby pawn shop, or even a covert mission to check out a suspicious yard sale may be the key to getting your bike back. Bike theft is deeply distressing, but being reunited with a stolen bike is not as impossible as you may think.

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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