By James Brooks, PFC
Bikes are a popular target for thieves. Follow these simple tips to keep your bicycle safe and secure.
Tip #1: Register Your Bicycle
City of Falls Church residents may register their bicycle with the Police Department by either setting-up an appointment with the Police Community Services Officer (703-248-5056, TTY 711) or stopping by a registration drive, such as the upcoming Fall Festival on Saturday, September 13
. Registered bicycles will have a serial number stored in a database and will receive a sticker to place on the bicycle.
Tip #2: Mark Your Bicycle
Mark your frame with your postcode in two separate locations, one of which should be hidden. Attach a "Coded Cycle" label to reduce the risk of making your bike a target for theft. Take a photograph of your bike and record your frame number and key details. This will help the police recover your bike if it is stolen.
Tip #3: Make Your Bicycle Difficult to Steal
When you step away from your bike, make sure you lock it. In the vast majority of bicycle thefts, bicycles were either unlocked, improperly locked, or locked with inadequate locking devices such as lightweight cables or low-quality U-lock devices. Lock the frame and both wheels to a cycle stand or a strong immovable object. Whenever possible, lock your bike in a busy and well-lit area.
U-locks have proven to be the most effective, but like all locks they can be defeated. Use a high-end U-lock to reduce the chances of your lock being defeated. You should always exercise care in where and how you lock your bike.
Make the lock(s) and bike hard to maneuver when parked by ensuring little room between the stand and the bike.
Locks are considered more vulnerable when they come in to contact with the ground, so keep them off the ground.
Tip #4: Remove any Valuable Accessories
Handheld accessories such as lights, GPS devices and odometers are easy to take when in plain sight.
Follow these easy tips and make smart decisions to keep your bike safe and secure!