Use your locks, London, because bike thefts have increased

Bicycle thefts are up by nearly 10 per cent in London compared to this time last year and cyclists in the city are turning to social-media channels to help recover their trusty, two-wheeled steeds.

Double, triple check those bike locks, London.

Bicycle thefts are up by nearly 10 per cent in London compared to this time last year and cyclists in the city are turning to social-media channels to help recover their trusty, two-wheeled steeds.

According to London Const. Sandasha Bough, there have been about 387 bike thefts reported to police since January this year. Last year, that number was 357.

Ben Cowie, the owner of London Bicycle Cafe, wasn’t surprised by those numbers and noted that he hears his customers often talk about bicycle thefts.

“There’s two groups of people,” Cowie said. “People who are reluctant to buy a bike because they’re afraid of it being stolen . . . or people who have had their bikes stolen, which is a really frustrating and personal thing.”

A Facebook group created earlier this year has given Forest City residents an outlet to post photos and share information about lost or stolen bicycles in an effort to return them back to their owners.

“It’s just trying to increase your odds,” Cowie explained.

Several posts have populated the Facebook group with details of stolen bikes, as well as images and videos of some of the bike thieves taken from security cameras. But the point of the page is not to catch the thieves, it’s just to get bikes back to owners, according to group administrator Shelley Carr.

“They’re being stolen from everywhere . . . from inside people’s garages and off the street” Carr said. “I think a very serious bike-theft ring is operating out of London.”

Carr noted that stolen bikes usually show up online on sites like Kijiji or at pawn shops. But she said many of the high-end bikes that are being taken are nowhere to be found after they are stolen. Carr thinks they’re being taken out of the city, or are being stolen for specific people rather than being sold in public.

“Some (bikes) are pretty specific brands and are usually really hard to find,” Carr said. “Those aren’t coming up anywhere online.”

Cowie said when those bikes go missing it “really stings” because they are often custom-fitted to the owner. He noted that professional bike thieves will scout out high-end bikes, observe the owner’s patterns and routines and then quickly steal them when they get the chance.

“I tell everybody you’re protecting against amateur thieves . . . if a pro wants your bike, they’re going to take it,” Cowie said. “That’s why you get your bike insured.”

Cowie advises his customers to buy quality locks from their local bike store rather than a cheap dollar-store lock. He also tells them to lock their bikes in visible areas with a decent amount of foot traffic to discourage theft.

Finally, he advises customers to insure their bikes — especially if they are expenseive — comparing insuring a bike to insuring a car.

Cowie also said it’s useful to take precautions before the bike is stolen, like taking a clear photo of it, writing down its serial number and registering it with the Bike Registry Service — a global database that sends out alerts to residents in a neighbourhood that a registered bike is stolen from.

“If you have your bike stolen, you want everybody to know,” Cowie said. “The people who see the street level better than anybody else are people on bikes, so it gives you a better chance at getting your bike back.”
bikelocks London
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
8 views in june
I recommend
No recommendations yet


Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

An EE customer has said she was stalked by an ex-partner who worked at the firm, after he accessed her personal data without permission. Francesca Bonafede's number was switched to a new handset and her address and bank details were accessed. She said the company failed to take the data breach seriously and she had to involve police. EE "sincerely apologised" to Ms Bonafede, and said the employee no longer worked for the company. 'They didn't seem concerne...
West Ham say they have handed over all of their evidence to the police after completing a "thorough and immediate" investigation into racist abuse shouted at Liverpool's Mohamed Salah. The incident happened during Monday's 1-1 draw at London Stadium. Egypt striker Salah, 26, was filmed on a mobile phone from a section of home supporters as he was taking a corner. "The club is unequivocal in its stance - such abuse will not be tolerated," West Ham said in a...
A body seen in the wreckage of the plane carrying Cardiff City footballer Emiliano Sala and pilot David Ibbotson has been recovered, investigators said. Remotely operated Vehicles (ROVs) were used in ‘challenging conditions’ to pull the body out of the water ‘in as dignified a way as possible’ the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Wednesday night. The body is being taken to Portland to be passed over to the Dorset coroner for examination, t...
The US president, who has repeatedly criticised the military alliance, would meet with heads of state in London, Nato secretary general Jens Stoltenberg announced on Wednesday. It would be Mr Trump's second visit to Britain since his election, having jetted in amid swathes of protest last July. I am pleased to announce that allies have agreed that the next meeting of Nato heads of state and government will take place in London in December 2019. The meeting...
Rolf Harris was jailed for five years and nine months in 2014 but released on licence in May 2017 Credit: PA Officials are investigating a report that disgraced entertainer Rolf Harris walked onto the grounds of a primary school and waved at pupils. The convicted sex offender went onto the premises of Oldfield Primary School near his home in Bray, Maidenhead, to talk to a sculptor working in the grounds, the Daily Mirror reported. Harris, who was jailed fo...
Two men have been arrested on suspicion of murder after a teenager was stabbed to death. Police and London Ambulance Service were called to Wolsey Court, off Westbridge Road in Battersea, at 7.52pm on Tuesday following reports of a stabbing. A 19-year-old man was found with stab injuries and died at the scene at 8.36pm despite paramedics battling to save his life. The stabbing took place less than half a mile from Prince George's primary school, Thomas's B...
The girl, who has been named Roman by nurses, was found at around 10pm on Thursday in the park in Roman Road in East Ham.  Police said Roman was wrapped in a white towel and placed in the shopping bag on the ground next to a bench in the small children's play park.  The baby was rushed to hospital where she was in a stable condition on Friday morning, the Metropolitan Police said.  Roman was discovered by grandmother-of-one Rima Zvaliauskiene, 50, just 100...
The operation to recover the doomed plane carrying Emiliano Sala off Guernsey could be hampered by days of poor weather as the man brought in by the footballer's family to find him said he could be in the wreckage. The English Channel is being battered by torrential ran, 40mph winds and 10ft waves with the poor conditions set to continue - and worsen - until the end of the week, MailOnline can reveal today. The families of the £15million striker and his pi...
Train passengers are being warned of major disruption after overhead electric wires were damaged near one of London’s busiest stations. Network Rail said services travelling to and from Liverpool Street could be cancelled or revised until 8am on Thursday. Wires between Liverpool Street and Bethnal Green, east London, were damaged, with the outage impacting Greater Anglia, London Overground, Stansted Express and Transport for London Rail services. Passenger...