MORRISTOWN, NJ (Morris County) – Morristown Police Department reminds residents of tips to prevent bicycle thefts.
“As the summer weather seems to have arrived, we thought it would be a good time to send out some reminders about how to protect your bicycle. We know this is a great biking town but as always, an ounce of prevention is… well you know the rest,” police said.
As with so many crimes, bike thefts are typically crimes of opportunity, police said.
Police offer these tips to help keep you from becoming a victim:
- Mark your bike. “A thief’s big concern is, ‘Can I sell this bike in 30 minutes?’” It turns out that thieves probably don’t want to steal a bike that’s easily identifiable.” Write your initials at 12 o’clock and 6 o’clock on each tire with a Sharpie.¬ Or write your name on the top tube and cover it with layers of clear packing tape. A thief can remove it with some effort, but it probably won’t be worth the hassle.
- Take a mug shot. Write your bike’s serial number in marker on paper and have someone photograph you displaying it next to your bike. Also take shots of identifying details and keep them stored in your phone. There’s no theft without proof of ownership. Have yours ready.
- Buy new locks. That used-lock on Facebook Marketplace might seem like a bargain, but it could be compromised or outdated.
- Find something sturdy to lock the bike to. Make sure thieves can’t simply lift the bike over it.
- Watch out for scaffolding and “sucker poles”—shake them first to ensure they’re solidly in the ground. Remember, “the bike is only as secure as what you’re locking it to.”
- Wheel theft is on the rise. If you can’t lock one of yours, take it with you.
- Don’t use a U-lock around your bike’s top tube. A thief could use the frame as a lever to pop it open. Use the lock to secure a wheel to your down tube.
- Locks are about buying time. A burly chain at least 12mm thick will delay thieves the longest.
- Remove the front wheel, then lock both wheels together with the frame if you’re going to be gone for any length of time.