Police say to BOL for bike thieves
Ain’t it grand that this little Island is such an easy place to navigate on your trusty old bike? Unfortunately, this heart-healthy, Earth-friendly habit is facing a serious challenge: A rising tide of bike thefts.
Bike thefts have more than doubled over the last year, with 262 bike thefts from January to September of this year compared to 121 for the same period in 2008, the Alameda Police Department’s October newsletter says. Of those, nearly a third of the bikes that were stolen were left unlocked and unattended, while about a quarter were stolen after the thief broke the lock.
So how can you protect your bike? Police say that all bikes have a serial number engraved on them, typically on the bottom of the frame or near the pedals. They suggest you write that number down somewhere and take pictures in the event your bike is stolen.
The folks at BikeAlameda, who put out a mass e-mail on this Friday and are working with Alameda police to try to stem the rising tide of bike thefts, suggest you buy a U-lock (not a cable lock, which can be easily cut) and that you always lock the frame and the wheel of the bike, to a bike rack if possible (and inside a locked garage at home). Both the BikeAlameda folks and police also suggest you park your bike in a visible, well-lit area to discourage thieves.
You can also purchase a BikeLink card for the lockers in the Civic Center Parking Garage, BikeAlameda’s Lucy Gigli wrote.
If your bike is lost or stolen, call the Alameda Police Department on their non-emergency line, 337-8340.