How To Not Get Your Bike Stolen in Bend

Your rig looks rad with all those bikes on it! But don’t let it out of your sight.

Unfortunately, bike theft in Bend is a thing. Bend is a destination for mountain bikers, which also means that Bend is a destination for bike thieves. As a bike shop, we have a front row seat for reports and stories and insurance claims related to our customers getting their bicycles stolen. It sucks. But, it’s often avoidable…

1. Visiting Bend? Never leave your bikes on your car overnight.

FACT: As a destination shop for visiting mountain bikers, this is a common story. “I just got into town last night and we had our bikes stolen off of (or out of) our car in the hotel parking lot!” That sucks.

STORY: No matter where you travel, never leave your bikes on your car overnight. Even if they are locked to the roof rack. Bike thieves will pry the entire roof rack off of your car, with the bikes still on it, and trash your car in the process. The little locks on your roof racks are great for keeping your bike secure while you use the restroom at the gas station, and maybe eat dinner with your bikes within view. They are not intended to secure your bicycles overnight. Or while you’re at the movies. Or out late for dinner. Unload your bikes and bring them inside. Every night.

2. Don’t leave your garage door open unless you are standing in your garage.

FACT: In 2015 the Bend Police Department received over 360 bicycle theft reports which accounted for more than 400 stolen bicycles inside Bend city limits. Only 29% of bicycles stolen in Bend were locked up and reportedly had a lock defeated or cut. This means that 280+ of these 400 bicycles were not locked! Bicycles stolen out of open garages in Bend were unlocked 93% of the time!!!

STORY: We always hate to hear that a customer got their bike stolen. But, when we’re told that their unlocked bike was taken from their porch, driveway, or garage that they left open overnight – it’s reeeeeally hard to feel sorry for them. Seriously people, let’s not make it too easy for bike thieves. You only went into the house for a few minutes? How long do you think it takes for somebody to walk in and ride out with one or two of your bicycles? If I just happen to be walking past your house it takes about 30 seconds – and that’s with my beer still in my hand.

3. Don’t even plan on locking up your fancy mountain bike.

STORY: We’ve had many a customer ask which lock we’d recommend for securing their $6000 mountain bike. Our answer is often this… “You won’t need a lock because you’re NEVER going to leave this bike anywhere unattended. You’re going to be riding it. Transporting it in your car while you are driving the car. Or the bike will be secure inside your home or garage. There are no other places where this bicycle should be.” You wanna go down to the bars or to work? Ride your cruiser bike. Or walk. Is this realistic? If you care about your fancy bike, absolutely!

4. Know your serial numbers and register all of your bicycles with a free service like BikeIndex.

FACT:  Less than 20% of bikes stolen in Bend in 2015  were recovered and returned to their owners. And, only 25% of Bend bike owners knew all or part of their bike serial numbers. If you don’t know, or can’t quickly get, the serial number then the likelihood of getting your bike back is slim. When you register your bicycle on BikeIndex you make it possible for law enforcement to instantly determine if a bicycle they’ve recovered has been stolen and that it belongs to you. When you register your bicycle on BikeIndex any person or bicycle shop can look up a bicycle to see if it was reported stolen – and find out who it belongs to.

STORY: If your stolen bicycle gets brought into our store by a fishy owner and our service department is suspicious of it, we can instantly look it up on BikeIndex and see if it’s been reported as stolen (by you) and find out who the owner actually is. Rad!

Let’s run bike thieves out of Bend. The best way to do this? Starve them out.

AWESOME STORY: The good news is that, in response to a record 49% increase in bike thefts in 2015, Bend Police conducted a season-long sting operation in 2016 which made use of “bait bikes” and resulted in 16 felony bike theft arrests and (by year end) a 60% drop in bicycle thefts. Rad! But, one of Bend’s biggest bike theft problems still exists – most stolen bicycles were not locked up. C’mon, people! Let’s not make it too easy for them.

The Top 5 Locations For Bike Theft in Bend (via 2015 Bend PD reports)…

  • Yard/Porch/Driveway – 32.7% (Usually unlocked!)
  • Public Bike Rack – 19%
  • In Garage – 12.6% (Garage left open and/or bikes unlocked 93% of the time!!!)
  • Outside a Business – 11% (Usually unlocked!)
  • In Vehicle/Truck, or On Vehicle Rack – 6.9%