Bicycle theft on the rise: tips on how to protect your wheels

A surge in stolen bicycles is becoming a reality for some in the Heartland
Published: Feb. 17, 2023 at 10:16 PM CST
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Southern Illinois (KFVS) - Marion Police Chief David Fitts said that there is a rising issue of bike theft.

Fitts believes that new laws in 2023, like the SAFE-T Act, have a connection with the rise.

“People aren’t afraid of getting caught because they won’t go to jail, and that’s a real shame,” Fitts said.

According to the department’s press release, they are creating a new system to register bicycles. The release says that those who wish to register can bring their bike on Monday, February 20 between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m.

Evan Forby, an employee at Bike Surgeon in Carterville, had a few tips, including storing your bike indoors if possible.

“I would say the biggest thing is if you have the ability to store it indoors somewhere, whether that’s in a locked shed or in your house, that’s the first step. Use a proper bike rack if there’s one around or something that it can be well secured to,” Forby said.

Forby also suggested two different bike locks and to keep your bike in a well-lit area.

“This one here is what’s commonly referred to as a U-Lock, it basically uses reinforced steel bar all the way around and this is going to offer the most protection,” Forby said. “This one here is a cable lock and the benefits to this is you get a little more reach with it and you can also kind of wrap it around various points of the bike whereas this is a little bit limited on length and width.”

Forby said the decision to lock your bike up is incredibly important.

“I mean, especially if you’ve got a relatively high end bicycle, you know 30 to 40 dollars can make the difference of somebody leaving with it and it being secure,” Forby said.