How to prevent bicycle thefts

According to News Herald, Euclid Police Department Lt. Mitch Houser offered some words of wisdom for people who want to keep their bicycles from being stolen.

“How you treat your property shows how important it is to you,” Houser said. For bicycle owners, treating their bikes right means keeping them locked up when they’re unattended, and taking some other common-sense measures to deter thieves.

Area police and a local bicycle shop owner agree that one of the basic steps to preventing thefts of bikes is to lock them when they’re parked and being left unwatched — whether it’s for a few minutes to make a quick purchase at a store, or for eight hours outside a rider’s workplace.

Bicycle thefts often are a crime of convenience, said Bill Gibson, owner of Blue Sky Bicycles at 36105 Vine St. in Eastlake. As Gibson explains it, a would-be thief sees a bicycle unlocked and no one else in sight, and decides to ride away with the bike.

However, Gibson said that locking a bike decreases the odds of it being stolen because some thieves simply don’t want to work at breaking, cutting or trying to open the lock.

Taking it a step further, Gibson said bicycle owners also need to assess the level of risk that’s involved each time they lock their bike, to ensure that they’re using an appropriate lock. If a bike is being parked and left unattended for just a few minutes in a low-crime area, just about any lock would be fine, he said. But if you’re parking a bicycle in a big city or other known high-crime area and leaving it unattended for more extended stretches, a more secure lock is needed.

One option for bicyclists is a U-Lock, which has a steel U-shaped shackle along with a crossbar that contains the locking mechanism, accessible through either a key or numerical combination.

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