Keeping your wheels
Thieves eye bicycles in spring

by Derek Neary
Northern News Services

NNSL (Apr 29/98) - Get a sturdy lock and use it properly.

That's the advice for bike owners from RCMP Staff Sgt. Dave Grundy.

A shatter-proof lock is expensive but, "if you've got $500-plus tied up in a bike, certainly you're going to want a good lock," Grundy said.

He recommends that it be intertwined with the other parts of the bike, especially the frame. If it's just the wheel that's secured, then thieves will often steal the rest of the bike, Grundy noted.

"We had a number of those last year," he said, adding that close to 400 bicycles were pilfered last year.

It's important to lock your bike to something that can't be picked up and carried away, as can many small bike racks.

Even street signs offer a false sense of security.

"In a lot of the cases, you can lift the bike right up over top of the sign," said Grundy.

Quick-release seats and wheels are another deterrent to thieves looking for walk away with pieces of your two-wheeler, it not the whole thing. But if you have that option, be sure to use it.

"If it's quick-release, somebody will take it. It's sad that in our society you can't leave anything laying around -- but you can't," Grundy said.

On Monday, a red Schwinn BMX bike was swiped from Range Lake North School. The bike's chain-link lock was broken by the thieves. Obviously, a determined criminal is hard to thwart.

"We've had people who have taken all the precautions necessary and still lose their bikes," said Grundy.

Incidently, Grundy has never lost his own bike to a thief, as it seems he's found an effective deterrent.

"I have a bike that no one would steal. I could leave it out and want it to get stolen and no one would steal this bike," he joked.

Owners should also jot down their cycle's serial number so they can identify it in the event police do recover it.

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