Modified: June 15, 2017 3:16pm
Erie County District Attorney John J. Flynn, Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown and GObike Buffalo Executive Director Justin Booth are joining forces to attack one of the biggest quality of life crimes in the community: bike theft.
“Stealing bikes is a crime, and all too often victims feel like they don’t have any recourse,” says DA Flynn. “We want bike riders to know how to protect their wheels and what to do if someone walks off with them.”
“The City is committed to making bike riding safe and convenient for our residents,” says Mayor Brown.” We have added almost 100 miles of new bike lanes and more than 400 bike racks throughout the City. I’m pleased to partner with District Attorney John Flynn to stop bicycles from being stolen in the City of Buffalo.”
Bike thefts increase as soon as the riding season begins here in Western New York. Buffalo Police reported 447 bike thefts in 2016, most of them occurring in the downtown and North Buffalo areas of the city.
“The key is to register your bike, before it gets stolen,” says Booth who connects riders with the Bike Index on his website, www.gobikebuffalo.org.
Booth says once your bike is registered, its details will be made available to bike shops, police departments, pawn shops and others with the goal of connecting people back to their stolen bike.
GObike Buffalo also provides some tips on theft prevention and properly locking up your bike:
1. Never leave your bike unattended, even if you’re running into a store for “just a minute.” At the very least, lock the rear wheel to the frame so no one can ride it away.
2. Securely lock your bike frame to a fixed object, and if possible, also lock removable parts such as wheels and seats.
3. Even if you keep your bikes in your garage, lock them up to something that is secured to the floor, walls or ceiling. Many bikes are stolen from garages.
4. Don’t rely on cable locks. Almost all of them can be cut in seconds with handheld tools. Get a more serious U-lock.
5. Lock your bike in well-lit and well-traveled areas, and if you consistently go to the same destination (think daily commute), don’t lock it up in the same location every day.
6. Don’t leave your bike outside overnight. Find indoor secure parking whenever possible.
7. Take photos of your bike and its serial number (underneath the bike where the pedals/crank arms meet) and save them.
If you do become a victim of a bike theft, Booth says to file a police report, list your bike as stolen on Bike Index and start spreading the word on social media.