Help for Stolen Bikes

Wed, 2020-09-16 22:59 -- xl_cheese

Help for Stolen Bikes
Stolen bikes in Austin, TX – If you’re reading this then you probably already know that it’s a problem.  Here at Velorangutan, we are talking to more and more people who have had their bike stolen or are concerned about bike theft in their area.  With that said, we wanted to provide some tips if your bike was stolen bike as well as some essential risk management insight (so that we can reduce the risk of our bikes being targeted and taken by thieves).
Ok your bike is stolen, now what?
Step 1:  Call the police and file a police report. Give the reporting officer the facts about when, where, and how this took place. Important: You will need to provide the reporting office with the serial number your stolen bike. 
 
Step 2:  Call your homeowners/renters insurance company. You may be able to recoup some, or all, of your loss by filing a claim. It is important to be aware of any specific limitations that your policy may have on high value items like bicycles. There may also be limitations to be aware of for “property in transit”, especially if your bike was taken while outside of your home or residence. Finally, be aware that most property insurance policies do have a deductible which will have to be met before the insurance company pays anything at all. See our risk management tips below for more on buying insurance and properly covering your bikes.
 
Step 3:  File your bike serial number as stolen on stolen bike websites.
 
Step 4:  Let your community know about the stolen bike. Post on local FB cycling sites for people to be on the lookout. Contact your local bike shops and have them be on the lookout.  Finally, drive to all of the pawnshops nearby and make sure that they are aware to contact you should someone bring your bike in to be pawned. Be sure to have clear, recent pictures of your bike.
 
Step 5:  Scour websites commonly used to sell bicycles and specifically stolen bicycles like OfferUp, Letgo, Craigslist, FB Marketplace, FB cycling Groups, ebay, Pinkbike, Pros Closet, Bike Exchange, etc. A lot of sites allow you to set up an email “Alert” should someone post a specific bike brand or model for sale, including Google Search engine.
 
Step 6:  Expand your range outside of your immediate area and be persistent.  Most criminals will not immediately throw a high value bike up for sale in the same area that it was stolen, fearing that the owner may catch them trying to sell it.
 
Step 7:  If you find your bike for sale, immediately contact the police and give them any information that you can about the listing and seller. You can also register your bike through Bike Index.  Some thieves forget to turn off the embedded GPS tag when they take a picture from their phone so be sure to let the detective know if the GPS tag is included. Insist that the detective setup a “buy” with the suspected stolen boke seller. Unfortunately, in many urban cities police departments will not do anything to investigate the possible stolen bike and this is super frustrating because it emboldens thieves and perpetuates rampant bike theft in these communities. Please note, due to security reasons, WE DO NOT RECOMMEND SETTING UP A “BUY” FROM A POSSIBLE STOLEN BIKE LISTING ON YOUR OWN OR GOING TO GPS COORDINATES TO TRY TO FIND YOUR BIKE WITHOUT THE HELP OF LAW ENFORCEMENT!  
Bike orders are typically back logged several weeks to months so if your bike is missing it’s best to replace your bike through Velorangutan right away. 
 
How to Prevent a bike from being stolen 
 
What we don’t recommend:
1: Don’t trust a cable lock, u-lock, cage or any combination of the two to protect your bike from being stolen (just don’t).
2: Don’t leave your bike unattended anywhere, ever.  Ex: Even if you are pumping gas with your bike fixed to your car, make sure to have a clear view of your bike at all times.
 
Always:
1: Keep your bike in view, even if it’s on the back of a car carrier and locked. 
Store your bike in a secure place that is out of sight and protected from the elements.  If you are able to keep your bike within your home, we believe it’s the safest place.
2: Check with your insurance about what is covered in the event of theft including if the bike is in transit or away from your residence.