LOCKING HARDWARE • • Case hardened U-Locks- Well known for greatest security. High quality steel alloy locks are best. Flat key U-locks are suggested to prevent locks from being picked. Padlocks and Chains- Look for antitheft security chains, the thicker the better. Chain links and lock clasps should be at least 3/8 of an inch thick. Locks and chains that are case hardened use a process that makes them more difficult to cut. PARKING AND LOCKING BASICS The first rule: Always lock it. Never, leave your bicycle unlocked--even for a minute. A thief can steal your bicycle in seconds. Security: Lock your bicycle to something that is permanent and difficult for a thief to take. Secure the bicycle to a bicycle rack, or a “legal” immovable object. Do not lock to another bicycle, a door handle, or small tree. If you keep your bicycle in a garage, basement, or on a porch, lock it. BICYCLE THEFT PREVENTION Visibility: Park in open areas where several people pass by and your bicycle can be seen easily. Thieves usually don't like an audience. Keep It Close By: When possible, park your bicycle as near to your location as possible. Thieves like to steal bicycles whose owners are away from the area. Read parking signs for restrictions. • Cables- Some cables are actually harder to cut than chains because they do not snap and thieves cannot pry them open. Use a cable that is at least 3/8 of an inch thick with a lock that is as thick, or thicker. No overnight public parking if you can avoid it. At night, always park in well-lit areas. SAN DIEGO COUNTY SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT Crime Prevention Unit Revised 09/16 THEFT PREVENTION HOW TO LOCK IT UP A thief with enough time and the right tools can break any lock. The majorities of stolen bicycles were locked with a cable or chain, or were not locked at all. USE your U-LOCKS, CHAINS, CABLES, AND PADLOCKS. Of course this sounds like a no-brainer, but there are countless people who have lost their bicycles because they left them unlocked "just for a minute". Even If you keep your bicycle in a garage, basement or on a porch, LOCK IT UP. Remember, an unsecured bicycle poses a greater risk of theft than the value of the bicycle. • Purchase quality, high security, case hardened U-locks that have proven to be more secure. • Use higher quality steel alloy locks; they are worth the expense to prevent theft. • If the lock manufacturer offers a warranty or insurance, register the lock and record your serial number and the date of purchase with them. • Record and retain the model and serial number along with the receipt and purchase date of your bicycle. • Engrave identifying marks in several places, or apply an "Owner Applied Numbers (OAN) that can be engraved onto any surface. Call any Sheriff's Station for more information. • Place a card with your name and telephone number on it inside the bicycle handlebar tube to prove ownership. • Take close-up pictures of your bicycle for your files. • Parts attached with a quick-release mechanism, should be locked to the frame and the rack. • Participate in bicycle registries if you want to record your identification or search to recover your stolen bicycle. LOCK THE WHOLE BICYCLE. Put the U-lock through the frame, not just through a wheel. Put the lock through BOTH the frame and the front wheel and LOCK it to a permanent object. If you lock just the wheel, a thief will simply remove the wheel and walk away with the frame. For extra protection, use two locks, one through each wheel. Placing the Lock: Thieves may break a lock by pinning it against a wall or sidewalk and smashing it with a hammer. If you use a padlock, place it away from the ground or solid surface-leaving little or no slack in your cable or chain. When using a U-lock, leave little or no space in the lock's middle to prevent prying. Use caution when securing bicycles to bicycle racks. Some racks are constructed with simple nuts and bolts on the ends. If you park your bicycle on the end of one of these racks, a thief could disassemble the end of the rack with a wrench, and slide your bicycle off it. Check to make sure that the part of the rack you are locking to is solid and not broken at the top or bottom. RECOVERING A STOLEN BICYCLE • Call law enforcement to file a report. • Notify local bicycle shops that buy and sell used bicycles of the theft. • Advise pawn shops in your area that your bicycle has been stolen. Give them a photo and registration number if you have one. • Check local swap meets and report to law enforcement if found. DO NOT accuse or confront the peddler. YOUR SAFETY IS IMPORTANT! • Search ID and recovery databases. STATISTICS Difficult to measure. Bicycle theft data is grouped together and reported under larceny, petty theft, and property theft. Larceny/theft makes up nearly 60% of all crime committed in America, making it the largest crime category. Data is missing. Bicycle theft is so common that many people do not report the crime. The National Bike Registry (NBR) estimates that 1 million bicycles are stolen every year worth approximately $252 million dollars.
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