Bike Theft


Theft Statistics
Many thieves sell stolen bicycles for drug money. A few tips will help reduce the chances of your bike being stolen.

Click here for another bike theft article by KSL.

Choosing the Right Lock

Cable locks are typically no good. You get what you pay for when it comes to bicycle security. Even thick cable locks that advertise better security are quickly and easily cut by bike thieves. Invest in a good quality lock – one that cannot be cut with bolt cutters. Choose something that requires an angle grinder which would attract attention if stolen. U-locks are often recommended, and large chains are also quite effective. Many locks made by Kryptonite come with a plan to recover the value of your bicycle if it is stolen.


Lock it Well

Your high quality lock won’t do you much good if you don’t know how to use it correctly. A common mistake is to only lock the front wheel. Front wheels are relatively easy to replace, so thieves just take the rest of the bike and replace the wheel. Always lock your frame along with preferably both wheels. Whatever isn’t locked down might get stolen. If you have to choose a wheel, the back wheel is more expensive than the front. Never lock the bicycle to itself – lock it to a bicycle parking rack. Also, please be considerate, and be sure you don’t lock someone else’s bike with yours. Kryptonite has more tips here.

Also watch the original 2005 version.

Register your Bike

Visit our page about registering your bicycle to learn more about registering it with the city of Provo. All bicycles in Provo must be registered with Provo Police. For BYU students, it is free if you register at Outdoors Unlimited or at the parking office in the JKB. Registering your bike helps law enforcement to return your bicycle to you if it is stolen. Remember to call the police to fill out a police report if your bicycle is stolen. Keep your licence number and serial number in a safe place to provide to the cops for the report.
bikeindexBike Index is another useful site that has been very effective in recovering stolen bicycles. Registration is free! You can register before or after your bicycle is stolen (before is better). Anyone (not just law enforcement) can type in your serial number and see if your bike is stolen. If you buy a used bike, this is the easiest way to see if it might be stolen.
In addition to the Provo bicycle registration, Provo police also use National Bike Registry to identify stolen bicycles. National Bike Registry is a popular resource across the nation. One downside is that they charge for registration. There also doesn’t seem to be an easy way for non-police to find whether a bicycle is stolen.
Bike Shepherd is a neat way to protect your bike. A tamper resistant sticker with a QR code helps to identify your bike as fine or stolen. If you bicycle is stolen, you go online to report it, and anyone who scans the QR code on your bicycle will know if it is stolen.


What to do if your Bike is Stolen

The most important step is to report it to the police. If it was stolen on-campus, call the BYU Police at 801-422-2222. If it is stolen off-campus in Provo, call the Provo police non-emergency number at 801-852-6210. A police report may be needed to claim insurance, to recover your stolen bike, etc. Register it as stolen at some of the websites just listed above. Search the internet for your bike regularly on KSL, ebay, craigslist, etc.