Back to bikes ... some helpful hints on security
By Kathryn Masteron
In Chicago's RedEye, July 25 2006
Chicagoan Howard Kaplan was tired of feeling helpless every time he read postings on bike-related e-mail lists about stolen bicycles.This is a useful article. The folks who make Krytonite locks just published the results of a national survey on bike security. Chicago is the third worst city in America for theft.
The postings didn't provide the kind of information that could help get the bike back or prevent it from happening to anyone else, Kaplan said. So in January 2005, he started an online site to track stolen bikes in the city.
The Chicago Stolen Bike Registry includes detailed descriptions of stolen bikes, serial numbers and police report numbers and specifics about how stolen bikes had been locked. Kaplan hopes people use the information to confirm whether a bike they believe might be stolen actually was, or to identify if used bikes listed on Craigslist or eBay are stolen.
"I just wanted to give people something they could do if they lost their bike or saw one they thought might be stolen," said Kaplan, an occupational therapist.
When a new listing comes in, Kaplan sends an e-mail to bike listserv subscribers alerting people to the registry. And reading the registry has an added benefit, Kaplan believes—reading the theft reports can teach people through example how to avoid a theft of their own.
And two brothers in NYC recently made a short documentary, How to Steal a Bike in NYC. I highly recommend you follow the embedded link to see it.