Someone Stole My Bike!!!

By: Community Officer Jeff Kirchman

OK, it happened. Despite your best efforts to secure your bike (or maybe not: tsk tsk), it’s been stolen. Now what? What can you do to improve your chance of getting it back, and/or catching the person(s) responsible?

The first step, call us. It’s important to report whenever a crime occurs, and bicycle thefts are no exception. When you call, a UWPD officer will contact you, obtain information, and begin an investigation. By documenting the activity, UWPD can see if it’s on the uptick, or if there are similarities with other incidents. It’s hard for us to catch bike thieves if we don’t know that they’re thieving.

Shadow of a parked bike is cast on a brick wall by late afternoon sunlightHopefully, you’ve registered your bike. While Madison recently ceased its bicycle registration requirement, it’s still a good idea. It’s super-simple at national registries like Bike Index or Project 529. With registration, all of your bike’s details will be saved in an easily accessible location. And that will help you to provide us with the information we need to help get your bike back.

Even if you haven’t registered your bike, record the serial number somewhere you’ll remember. With that, we can enter your stolen bike into a database accessed by police nationwide. If your bike is recovered elsewhere, your serial number will connect the dots back to you.

Of course, the best action is to prevent the theft in the first place. Remember: secure your bike – EVERY TIME! – with a quality lock (cable locks suck!). But if the unfortunate does happen, make sure you let us know, and be ready with the information we need to get it back.