Police Department  
Don't let your bike get stolen


Value: How much is your bicycle worth to you?

Location: Where will your bicycle be stored when you are not riding it? At school? In a big city?

Crime: What do you know about the rate of bicycle thefts in your area and the areas you will be riding and storing your bicycle?

Security: How much time, effort, and money are you willing to invest to protect your bicycle?

Ask Your Neighbors: If they have had any problems with bicycle thefts or if they know anyone in your area who has.

Ask Your Local Bicycle Dealer: about bicycle theft in your area. Seek advice about the best lock for your particular requirements and how to use it properly.


  • FBI Theft statistics prove that bicycle theft is on the rise.
  • Most bicycles are stolen from the home (yard, garage, dorm room).
  • Many bicycles are stolen easily because they are not locked at all.
  • The next most common targets are bicycles that are not locked with the right type of security protection (example - a lightweight cable or small dog collar type chain that can be easily pried open or cut).
  • Proper use of your lock will make a difference - USE IT CORRECTLY!!!
  • A registered and marked bicycle will improve the chances of it being recovered and returned to you.
  • Be sure to get a demonstration from a qualified professional of how the lock works and how to use it properly.


Select a brand name that you know and can trust.

U-locks vs. Cables: What is the correct choice? Although they are frequently used, a lightweight cable or chain no longer provides adequate security in most areas.

Combine a cable and U-Lock or even two U-locks, when securing your bicycle. The more time and trouble it takes for a thief to attack your bicycle, the less likely it is that your bike will become a theft statistic.

  • DESIGN FEATURES: Make sure that the design of the lock provides functional security. Gimmicks may look cool, but will they protect your bike?
  • SOLID STEEL IS STRONGEST: The ideal steel is hardened against cutting yet maintains flexibility. The U-lock is the safest lock you can use to secure your bicycle.
  • SERVICES: Find out about the lock's past performance. Does it have a good anti-theft record? A warranty? A guarantee? Lifetime key registration and prompt key replacement services for lost or damaged keys?
  • SIZES: Do not buy a larger lock than you really need. Thieves will utilize the extra space between the lock and your bicycle to their advantage.
  • LOCKING CORRECTLY: Will make it even more difficult for thieves to get their tools into position and attempt a break.


  • Always lock your bike; especially at your home, apartment building, or college dorm.
  • Lock your bike to a fixed, immovable object like a permanent bike rack that is cemented or anchored into the ground.
  • Always lock your bike in visible and well-lit areas.
    Select a spot where there are other bikes. The chances are better that thieves will target single bikes with less secure locks.
  • Position your bike frame and wheels so that you will take up as much of the open space within the lock as possible. The tighter the lock, the harder it is for a thief to use tools to break the lock.
  • If your lock has a keyhole, position the lock so that the keyhole is facing down toward the ground. This makes it harder for the thief to access the lock.
  • Always secure your components and accessories; especially those with can be easily removed, like quick release wheels and seats. Cable locks are excellent for securing these items.
  • Check your lock before leaving your bike to make sure you have secured it properly.


  • Don't leave a bicycle unlocked, ever! A new bike is the most valuable to thieves: it's just what they're looking for.
  • Don't lock your bike to small trees, fence posts, or chain link fences. These items can be easily broken or cut.
  • Don't lock your bike to anything posted as illegal.
  • Don't lock your bike to itself (the front wheel locked to the frame). If a thief wants your bike, it can easily be lifted up and carried away.
  • Don't position your lock low to the ground. A thief can attack the lock more easily and less obviously in that position.
  • Don't lock your bike in the same location all the time. A thief may notice the pattern and target your bike (this is especially important for commuters and residents).
  • Don't make it easy! Take the time to properly lock your bike each and every time. Observe the bikes locked near yours. If you make yours more secure than others, you have a better chance of not becoming a bike theft victim. Thieves most often go for the easiest targets.


  • Identify/Mark your bicycle: Engraving, tape, paint, and other means are very helpful ways to mark and personalize your bike. You can even place your name and telephone number in a plastic bag and stash it inside the seat post. Bike shops will discover it when servicing the bike and can check to ensure the bike is being used by its proper owner.
  • If your bike is really special, take a picture or two. The photos will help you identify/recover the bike if it is ever stolen.
  • Register your bike: All police departments recommend that you register your bicycle. The service is usually free and will help in you getting your bike back if it is stolen and recovered.
  • Register the key numbers with the lock company you buy your lock from. Some companies offer a Life Time Key Registration and a 24 hour Key Replacement Service.
  • Write down your key numbers and/or lock combination and store them in a safe place with your bike registration, serial numbers, purchase receipts and photos.
  • Remember: the newer the bike, the more desirable it is to a thief.

Be Careful and Always Ride Safely

  • Use a Helmet!
  • Learn, use, and obey traffic safety signals.
  • Ride with traffic, not against it.
  • If riding at dusk or at night, use reflectors and lighting systems: be visible!
  • Give pedestrians the right-of-way.
  • Ride defensively. Watch for cars and car doors opening in your path.
  • Don't weave in and out of slow or stopped traffic.
  • Slow down and look out for oncoming and turning cars at all intersections.
  • Keep you bike well maintained with regular check-ups and service visits to your local bicycle service center/shop.
  • When you are not riding your bike, keep it locked properly -- ALWAYS.



  1. When ridden on streets or in areas intended for use by motor vehicles, bicycles shall observe the "rules of the road" applicable to those vehicles.
  2. Bicycles may be ridden on campus sidewalks but must always be under control, operated at a safe speed, and yield the right-of-way to pedestrians.
  3. Bicycles may not be ridden inside any university building.
  4. When parked outdoors, bicycles must be secured in a bicycle rack. Bicycles parked other than in bicycle racks may be issued a parking citation and are subject to impoundment.