Bicycle Theft Prevention

Best Theft Prevention Tips

  • Lock your bike! It only takes seconds for a thief to hop on a bike and ride away. Bicycles that are kept in public are actually required to be locked under Shorewood Village Code. Always lock up.
  • Always lock your bike’s frame and wheels with a high-quality, modern U-lock (with a disc / flat key).
  • Remove all detachable items such as lights, bags, and quick release parts and take them with you.
  • Lock to a bike rack, or firmly affixed (bolts covered in concrete) parking meter or sign pole; these are the most secure places. For more information, view the locking positions diagrams (PDF).

Bike Locks

  • U-Locks: Some Kryptonite locks have been easily broken. There are similar brands sold which have a different locking mechanism inside, although they may look similar outside, and are less easily broken.
    • Some U-locks are stronger than others; make sure you buy a strong steel alloy lock. If the manufacturer offers a warranty or insurance, register the lock and write down the lock's serial number and when you bought it. One drawback to U-locks is that you can't lock up to thick objects such as street lights, so for these, carry a thick cable.
  • Padlocks and Chains: Look for anti-theft security chains; the thicker, the better. Chain links and lock clasps should be at least 3/8 of an inch thick. Look for locks and chains that are case-hardened, which is a process that makes them harder to cut.
  • Cables: Some cables are actually harder to cut than chains, because they don't snap and thieves can't pry them open. Use a cable at least 3/8 of an inch thick with a lock as thick, or thicker.
  • Placing the Lock: Thieves may break a lock by putting it against a wall or sidewalk and smashing it with a hammer. If you use a padlock, try to put it where it's not close to the ground or against a wall or another solid surface-leaving little or no slack in your cable or chain. When using a U-lock, leave little or no space in the lock's middle to prevent prying.

Additional Tips

  • Identifying your bike - the following tips will help you identify the bike:
    • Record your bike’s serial number.
    • Take a photo of you and your unlocked bike.
    • Keep the purchasing receipt.
  • Always lock your bike, even if you’re just leaving it for a moment.
  • Always lock through the frame and a wheel. Add a cable, cable lock, or second U-lock to lock the second wheel. View the locking positions diagrams (PDF) for more information.
  • Buy the most expensive lock you can afford. U-locks are strong and better ones come with theft warranties. Only buy a U-lock with a flat or disc key. Cylindrical keyed locks are more easily picked.
  • Beware of locking to “sucker poles” that are loosely bolted down and can easily be removed.
  • Avoid locking to private property. Store your bike inside if space is available.
  • Lock your bike when keeping it in a garage or on a porch.
  • Learn about the lock manufacturer’s warranty and product replacement policy.

If Your Bike Is Stolen

If your bike is stolen, file a theft report with the Shorewood Police Department. Be sure you know the serial number of the bicycle. If you have a serial number, the bicycle can be entered into a nationwide database. Many bicycles are recovered but do not get returned to the owners simply because of an unknown serial number.

If the police recover your bike, it is beneficial if you previously registered your bike with the Village of Shorewood at Village Hall. It's also required by law.