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Bicycle Theft Safety

Bicycles and bicycle parts including seats and “quick release” wheels are in big demand and thieves are well equipped and well organized.

Bicycle with lock
It has been found that in the vast majority of bicycle thefts, bicycles were either unlocked, improperly locked, or locked with inadequate locking devices such as lightweight cables or chains or low-quality U-lock devices.

Safety Tips

Try to use a basic or generic appearing bicycle on campus.  The more expensive and attractive the bike, the more likely that it will be a target of theft.

Lock your bike to a bicycle rack using a hardened steel “U” shaped lock.  Make sure you place the lock through the bicycle frame, through a wheel, and through the bike rack.  When used properly, bicycle locks are more than 99% effective in preventing theft.

If you have quick-release wheels, remove the front wheel and place it next to the rear wheel, then secure as stated above.

Place the key mechanism for the lock facing the ground, so that it is more difficult for a thief to tamper with.

Use a bike rack that is located in a well-lit area.

Do not lock your bike to handrails on handicap access ramps, or in any location which impedes pedestrian or vehicular traffic.  Bikes left in these locations will be impounded.

Record your bicycle serial number and keep that information in a safe place.

Register your bicycle with UWFPD, through Operation Identification.  By recording your bike’s identifiers with the police department, you increase the likelihood of your bike being returned to you if found.

If your bike is stolen, report the theft as soon as possible to the police department.  The sooner the police are aware of the theft, the more likely the possibility of your bike being recovered.