How to fight back against the local bike theft industry

Arcata bicycle enthusiasts Melanie Williams, Dirk Spits and Bob Ornelas. KLH | Union

City of Arcata

ARCATA – More than two million bicycles in the United States are stolen each year, and the Transportation Safety Committee would like to share bicycle theft prevention tips:

• Take down your bicycle’s serial number, and make sure you have a picture of what it looks like. This could help locate your bike if it is stolen.

• Register your bicycle with the Arcata Police Department or the Humboldt County Sheriff’s Office. The bike’s serial number will be entered into a national database, and if a bike is listed as stolen property, law enforcement may have an easier time tracking it down.

• Secure your bicycle simply by taking it inside whenever possible.

• Always remember to lock your bike, as most bicycles are stolen when left unlocked.

• Cable locks can be easily broken. Use a case hardened U-lock, a hardened steel chain lock or a folding lock whenever possible.

• Use a lock on both the front and back of your bike’s wheels.

• Always lock your bike to a designated bike rack or a solid object, and double-check to make sure the lock is secured.

• Lock your bike in a highly visible, well-lit area.

• Do not leave your bike in one place for too long, be sure to check in on it and move it regularly. If a potential thief sees your bike in the same place every day, especially during certain hours, they will have a good idea when they might be able to get away with stealing it.

• Do not leave anything on your bike that can be easily removed. For bicycles with quick-release wheels, lock both wheels and the frame to the rack. Remove easily detached items, such as packs, pumps, lights and clip-on fenders before leaving a bicycle unattended.

If a bike is stolen, call the Arcata Police Department to report the crime at (707) ​822-2424. Visit​ ​or the Humboldt Bay Bicycle Commuters Association’s website at​.