SECURITY ALERT - Bicycle Part Thefts

While many types of property theft have declined in recent years, bicycle theft is on the rise according to FBI statistics. The increasing popularity of bicycling as a sport and a means of transportation have made bicycles an easy target for thieves and it is estimated that over 1.5 million bicycles are stolen every year. College campuses are particularly susceptible to this type of crime.

Recently there has been an increase in bicycle part thefts from the streets around our building. Wheels and seats from expensive bicycles are particularly attractive targets but any unsecured bike part is at risk. A recent inspection of bicycles parked in front of our building revealed that many were vulnerable to theft for the following reasons:

• Some people chained the frame only, leaving the wheels vulnerable to theft.

• Many bikes were secured with low quality chains, locks and cables.

A thief with the right tools can steal a bicycle in under ten seconds. However, thieves may be discouraged by taking the following protective measures:

Use a Quality Locking Device: There are a variety of devices of varying quality and some manufacturers offer insurance against theft. U-Locks should be made of a strong steel alloy. The thicker the chain the better. Chains should be at least 3/8” thick. Padlocks should be case hardened making it more difficult to cut. Cables should be at least 3/8” thick with a lock as thick or thicker. Bicycle shops can offer advice on selecting the appropriate locking device for your bike.
Note: It was discovered that some older Kryptonite tubular cylinder locks can be opened using a disposable pen. Users of this type of lock should consider another locking device. 

Lock the Whole Bike: You should put the chain, cable or U-locks through your frame and both wheels, taking the front wheel off if you have a quick release hub. Expensive seats should be removed if possible. 

Cross Locking: Use more than one type of lock. For example, put a U-lock through your frame and rear tire and put a cable or chain through your frame and front tire.

Placing the Lock: Thieves can break a lock by putting it against a wall or sidewalk and smashing it with a hammer. If you use a padlock, try to place it so it cannot be placed against a solid surface. Leave little or no slack. When using U-locks, leave little or no space in the lock’s middle section to prevent prying. 

Ugly Bikes: Your bike is less likely to be stolen if it is old, unattractive and inexpensive because of the low resale value. Try to use to use the least valuable bike that will meet your needs. Bicycle enthusiasts should consider leaving expensive bikes at home and ride a less expensive bike to school.

Register your Bike with NYPD: Crime Prevention Units at local precincts can mark your bike with an identification number using an engraver. A difficult to remove decal is also affixed to the bicycle and if it is removed, the word "void" appears on what remains of the decal. If your bicycle is stolen and recovered, it can be traced back to you through the ID number.

The Office of Security & Public Safety regularly patrols the streets around our building and has stepped up uniformed perimeter patrols in an effort to deter theft. Officers are periodically posted in front of the building whenever time and resources permit. In addition, non-uniformed personnel have been conducting surveillance in an effort to catch the thieves. NYPD’s Midtown South Precinct will be informed of the problem at the upcoming community affairs meeting. Please notify Security at 212-817-7777 if you observe any suspicious behavior in front of our building. Thank you.

Submitted on: JAN 7, 2013

Category: Security