Ithaca police have taken multiple stolen bicycle reports in recent weeks, taking the opportunity to remind all area residents to use extra precaution when locking up.
They offered several steps to help prevent bicycle theft – and to increase the chances of recovery if it does happen:
- Thieves may enter private property to steal a bicycle, and thefts from yards and porches are common. If possible, take your bicycle inside when not in use.
- If unable to take your bicycle inside, keep it in a visible location that will prevent a thief from having the opportunity to take their time and steal your bicycle without witnesses.
- Always lock your bicycle if left outside and consider using a U-Lock. U-Locks are not as easy to cut through as traditional chain locks. Consider using multiple locks.
- If possible, lock your bicycle frame and wheels to a secure object.
- Take photos of your bicycle and document the serial number. The serial number will generally be located on the bottom of the frame under the cylinder where the pedals connect to the bicycle frame. If there are characteristics unique to your specific bicycle, make sure they are shown in the photos.
- If there are no distinguishing characteristics on your bicycle, consider adding something to make it obvious it is yours if recovered after a theft. Bike thieves will often spray-paint over the entire bicycle and will sometimes file off the serial number, so this will add another level of possible identification. Stickers with strong adhesive that are not easily removed or etchings in the frame will show through paint and may be good options.
Community members are also asked to report any suspicious activity in their neighborhoods to local police.