Lock your Bike – Thief in the Neighbourhood

On the way to the park yesterday evening I saw a mom stapling these signs up.  She said that she had two bikes (adult) stolen from her drive way while they were home. Another neighbour around the block had two bikes (kids) stolen from their backyard. Tonight, I also noticed a few police officers in the area interviewing.

It’s really sad as it impacts community. I could see the worry on this mom’s face.  And this evening when I walked to the park my neighbourhood felt a little less safe.

Have you had a bike stolen? How did it impact you?

Warning - Lock your Bikes, thief in the neighbourhood

18 thoughts on “Lock your Bike – Thief in the Neighbourhood

  1. I’ve never been victim of bike theft. I tell myself it’s because no one would steal the sort of bike that I would ride.

    I know that’s a mistake though. Any bike could go missing. It doesn’t have to be valuable.

  2. I’ve had my first bike stolen this past May. Due to living in the student area (Lester and Columbia), and no space in the tight apartment, I’ve had to resort to locking up my bike outdoors. Now, living in Ottawa for three years and this being my fourth year in Waterloo I’ve never had a problem with this. Alas, this was the one night I was too lazy to put on my second lock (I usually do moth a cable and a U). Next morning, bike gone. I used that bike for touring, so my summer plans went out the window. At least I still have my road bike, which I make sure I find space for upstairs.

  3. Had a bunch of cheap bikes stolen from outside my condo (no inside parking, which is pretty annoying). Also wheels from a not-so-cheap bike. Sometimes I don’t mind, but usually it just sucks.

  4. My friend had his road bike stolen last Sunday from his garage, which is basically in the backyard and hidden from sight by a large fence! He lives in the Union-Weber area. When he told me I got that ‘lump in my stomach feeling’…..the same feeling I got after seeing another friends bike fly off our car rack on the 403 (…but that’s another story!). I told him to check Kijiji right away (this is now Monday) and there it was! The person selling posted “After a break up with my girlfriend I have to sell some of my hobbies”. My friend contacted the ‘seller’ and said he is very interested in the bike but can’t come until Wednesday to see it…in fear the ‘seller’ would get rid of it right away. So my friend contacted the police again with this new lead and they were on it right away. The police sent an undercover detective, posing as a potential buyer, to the persons house. My friend now has his bike back….after only 3 days!!!

    Lessons I learned:
    -always write down your serial numbers from the bike (the police said having this would have helped them even more). Serial numbers are usually located under the bottom bracket

    -Kijiji is useful for more than just buying things from.

    1. Another lesson – don’t buy materials with a confusing back story from Kijiji. Why would the guy have to sell his bike because he broke up with a girl? That makes no sense.

      That’s a happy ending though.

  5. When I was 8, my older brother’s bike was stolen from outside our house. We had only been in Canada for a few months and my parents bought my brother a 10-speed bike. We both got new bikes which was a HUGE expensive. The day that it was taken, my parents and my brother looked everywhere. I remember my dad and my brother going out late at night, driving around trying to spot it. They filed a police report but nothing ever came of it. The unfortunate thing is, he was then without a bike for a couple of years, it was really too expensive to replace. Always makes to sad to hear when a child has their bike stolen.

  6. When I was in grade 10 someone stole the brakes off my bike. Luckily, I realized this as I was going down the hill….Never had the whole bike stolen, though I imagine that would be devastating, especially if you dropped a significant chunk of change on it.

  7. I’ve been lucky, the one time someone stole bikes from our unlocked garage they left mine because of a flat. I lock everything up now but anyone with a portable angle grinder would be able to cut through any lock in less than a minute. I went with a heavy duty security chain for my home lock, but it is a bit much to take around town, the little u-lock is just the right size to fit around a frame tube so it’s harder to break without damaging the bike.

    In-town I noticed some hefty but cheap motorcycle locks at KW surplus for 12$, looked like 1″ steel cable so still easily snipped with yard-long bolt cutters but big enough to compliment a u-lock nicely.

  8. I’ve had one bike stolen, an entry level Rocky Mountain cross-country bike that was the first “real” bike I ever bought. It happened a few years ago while I was a student and living in the high-rise apartments near Regina and King. The buildings had a “no bikes in the hallways/elevators” policy, but they supplied storage lockers for each apartment. The few times I brought the bike in the building I was actually given crap by some of the elderly tenants in the building. So, trying to be a good human being I left the bike in the locker over the winter. When I came around to ride it the following March, the lock on the locker was gone and so was the bike. I followed the protocol with filing a police report but by that point who knows how long it had been since the bike actually disappeared.

    Lesson learned. Today I don’t think twice about telling people at my current apartment that my bike is probably worth more than their car, if they ask why I don’t keep it in the common storage area.

  9. Indoors, locked and out of sight. And I still don’t feel safe.

    BTW, what neighbourhood was this posted in? Looks pretty old and student-y. U of W is the bicycle theft capital of the world. I’ve had 2 bikes stolen from there when I was a student. A really nice mountain bike I built up myself and a complete POS I bought from Sally Ann in Kitchener. Both with U-Locks. That why I like thicker cable locks now. Bolts cutter are useless on them (if you get the right design) and since they aren’t rigid, you can’t smack the locking mechanism with with a sledge.

  10. Within my immediate family we’ve had about half a dozen bikes stolen in my lifetime, with two of them being mine. The first (a decent Canadian Tire Schwinn bike) was stolen when the lock was broken clean off. I reported it and looked everywhere, but no dice. I was mostly due for a new one anyway, so I bought a Kona Cinder Cone. A few months later, I caught the guy who stole the first bike riding it downtown, called the cops, and got it back. It had been stripped and chopped, but on the plus side, I got a nice Kona DH bar out of it (it nonetheless cost over 250$ to get it in running shape again…). Shortly after, I got the new Kona stolen from an alley. I want to say it was my fault for not locking it (and I really should have, I know). But isn’t that kind of like saying it’s a murder victim’s fault for not moving out of the way of the bullet?

  11. My turn to chime in. I’ve had 2 bikes stolen. One when I was in Grade 9. It was a Raleigh Bighorn. I bought it with hard earned cash when I was in Grade 7 from our local bike shop on the corner of Bayview and Cummer in Willowdale. It was my precious and my true first bike. It was stolen from our ‘locked’ front shed in Hoofddorp, Netherlands and was the only bike taken. The bike in and of itself wasn’t that special, a low end mountain bike purchased in either 85 or 86. However in the Netherlands it really stood out amongst bikes as in 1988 there were not many mountain bikes. I got an insurance claim and got back significantly more than a I paid due to currency conversions. My second bike that was stolen was a Trek 830 Antelope, my second precious. This I bought in 1991 in Willowdale again but from a bike shop in the Yonge and Finch area. In 1993 I had significant improvements made to the bike upgrading the components from Suntour to Shimano XT and XTR components. I did this at John’s Cycle in Orangeville a cool bike shop in John’s basement. The bike was stolen in 1995 in Guelph from the garage. I was on a work term at McNeil Consumer Products (Tylenol makers).

    I haven’t had any bike’s stolen since. A note to self, both my bikes were stolen from my home and were unlocked in a storage area … maybe I should lock them in the shed?

    As a kid, saving for a quality low end bike represents a significant investment and having them stolen really sucked. I hate bike thieves.

  12. The Tool Shop on King St at Argyle in Preston is a good place to check for hot bikes and tools for that matter. The police know this place well

  13. This summer someone stole a bike at Christie. A guy rode up to the employee entrance where the bike racks are on a bike. He put it in the rack and somehow grabbed another bike, the security guard at the desk scared him away but because he rode up on a bike he didn’t think much of him riding away on a bike. At the the end of the work day someone was down a fixed gear and plus a crappy beater.

  14. Yep. I have had 2 bikes stolen as well. 1 was my first road bike, a Bianchi. Loved that thing, but the loss of that bike helped me purchase the next one. A Pinarello. Man that was a sweet bike. Got stolen too from the backyard of my girlfriend at the time. I know who did it too, just never found where he hid it. Bastard. From that though I got a Specialized Carbon. Beauty. Eventually sold it.

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