Advice From a Former Bike Thief

In an article in the Guardian, a former crack addict who supported his habit for 13 years by stealing bikes provides advice on how to prevent having your bike stolen. A few of his tips include:

  • Use a good lock
  • Lock through the frame and wheels
  • Park your bike where there are people around
  • Ride an inexpensive bike (expensive bikes are targeted by thieves)
  • If you ride an expensive bike, bring it inside with you

No news there, though it’s an interesting article nonetheless.

The Guardian

9 Responses to “Advice From a Former Bike Thief”

  • Doug says:

    I read somewhere that it is a good idea to use a cable AND a separate U-lock. Apparently different tools are used to break them and thiefs usually only carry one. Must say it has been working for me.

  • Mike says:

    “I read somewhere that it is a good idea to use a cable AND a separate U-lock.”

    This is probably where you read it:

    http://www.sheldonbrown.com/lock-strategy.html

  • Pete says:

    I saw this yesterday and started following a bunch of links to various theft-prevention articles.
    I ended up at this one: http://quickrelease.tv/?p=327
    Very thorough, and amusing.
    My favorite line, one which should comfort EcoVelo readers:
    “One of the best security devices on the market is the drop handlebar. Thieves, on the whole, give these a wide berth. Nobody down the pub wants a touring bike, even if the front and back racks are state of the art.” :)

  • RI Swamp Yankee says:

    I use locking wheel skewers from VO, and keep the wrench in my wallet. This is handy if the bike racks are overcrowded, and you need to go high or go low to lock onto something solid, but it can also cause you to become lazy, and just lock the frame. Be aware that the most common lock-breaking tools are a long pry-bar and a low-profile bottle jack – if they can wedge their tool inside the shackle, it’s game over. By locking the wheel + frame, there’s less space and wiggle room for the thief to work with.

    Remember, your locking job doesn’t need to be theft-proof, it just needs to be more theft-resistant than the bike parked next to it.

  • Bob B says:

    Riding a beater as a town bike is good advice. Here’s an article on how to U-G-L-Y your bike so nobody would want it. http://bit.ly/T4ekK

  • Runjikol says:

    This is just an elaborate case of “blame the victim”. Look at the over all tone of the article. It’s horrible for drug addicts. It’s just bad luck that bikes are stolen. If you get a cheap lock it’s your fault your bike is stolen.

    Fact is that if not a single soul bought stolen goods of any kind, ie. by sighting a copy of the invoice, then stealing bikes and anything else would be useless. The other side of the issue is the lack of enforcement & investigation. Aziz (of the article) knows that he’s not going to be pursued. The general public don’t care about bike riders or their bikes from the years of denigration of utility bike riders.

    All these wrongs don’t make it right to blame the victim.

  • canali says:

    also: loosen your rear wheel so is easier for them to crash and not continue on…another thing switch your gears all up so they’re out of sequence…makes it very tough to ride away quickly when gears/chain/cogs are jamming and the thief is stuck in a big gear…read this on a bicycling magazine website.

  • MikeEJ says:

    Doesn’t anyone know a bike thief? Doesn’t he deserve to be outed? Do any sites specialize in naming thieves — like “Jerry, who lives under the bridge where SR creek passes under 101.” This would be useful and might cause some of them to pull out.

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