'Lock it or lose it': Winnipeg police offer tips to cyclists

The popularity of cycling continues to grow at a "tremendous" rate and as a result, so does bike theft, say Winnipeg police.
CBC's Janet Stewart talks with video journalist Brett Purdy about 'Lock it or lose it': Winnipeg police service's awareness campaign that offer tips to cyclists. 1:55

The popularity of cycling continues to grow at a "tremendous" rate and as a result, so does bike theft, say Winnipeg police.

In an effort to lessen the chance of someone becoming a bike theft victim, the police service has offered up tips on how people can better protect their bicycles and increase the chances of recovery if they are stolen.

Bike theft has climbed by 109 per cent since 2014, according to stats from Winnipeg police.

Spokesman Const. Rob Carver said he believes it's because there are more bikes around, which means more targets, but also because modern bikes are far more attractive to thieves because of their value.

"The nature of bikes, like many things, has gotten far more complex," he said. "A bike today has way more technology than it did 15 years ago. It's also a much more expensive item, so what was stealing a $150 item some years ago is now stealing an $800 item or a $1,000 item or more."

Here are some tips from the Winnipeg Police Service:

  • Record your serial number — typically found on the underside of your pedal (crank) shaft. Keep this number in a safe place.
  • Register your bike with the city's Community Services Department. Some websites and bike shops offer registration as well.
  • Secure it. The best way to protect yourself against bike theft is to park your bike in a secure bike parking facility. Other good choices include monitored parking facilities and locations, and high-visibility racks along retail storefronts.
  • Lock it well. Prevent bike theft with good locking techniques.
  • Use 2 locks. Invest in a U-lock and a cable lock, and use both whenever possible.
  • Report it. If your bike is stolen, report it to your local police as soon as possible. It's your best chance for getting it back.
  • Broadcast it. Post a photo and details of your bike on Facebook, Twitter, Kijiji and Instagram to increase the chance of recovery.
  • Look for it. Watch online marketplaces, and report or flag suspicious listings.


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