Beware of handlebar thieves in north London!

Commuting, Day rides, Audax, Incidents, etc.
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The utility cyclist
Posts: 1924
Joined: 22 Aug 2016, 12:28pm

Re: Beware of handlebar thieves in north London!

Postby The utility cyclist » 13 Feb 2019, 7:16pm

Audax67 wrote::( Long may they stay your side of the Channel. Though we do have our own thieves, of course.

Are you not aware of the main reason for the recent government proposal of registering all bikes in France ... due to the massive crime rate with respect to bike theft?
At least 500,000 cycles are stolen in France every year, another example is 9000 hire bikes from one company alone (Velib) went missing or were mangled in just one year, that was just in Paris! Gobee also pulled out of France recently due to the mass destruction and theft of their hire bikes
Thinking that cycle theft isn't as big an issue in France somehow misses the facts.
There will always be hotspots and there will be places were it's not.

andrew_s
Posts: 4638
Joined: 7 Jan 2007, 9:29pm
Location: Gloucestershire

Re: Beware of handlebar thieves in north London!

Postby andrew_s » 14 Feb 2019, 4:32pm

An answer is anti-theft allen key blockers such as Hexlox or Pitlock Pitstoppers.

They aren't cheap, but aren't as awkward as the cheap alternative, which is to superglue a ball bearing into the allen socket.

I've been using Hexlox for the last couple of years. I can't tell whether they've put anyone off stealing, but nothing's gone. Here isn't exactly a bike theft hotspot though.
The only real downside is an extra 30 - 60 sec added to puncture fixing times, for unlocking the QR skewer.
Extra weight is trivial, and the 15 mm x 3 mm key just lives on the keyring with the front door and bike lock keys

londonbikerider
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Joined: 22 Nov 2018, 7:58am

Re: Beware of handlebar thieves in north London!

Postby londonbikerider » 15 Feb 2019, 6:12pm

thirdcrank wrote:Cyclists are sometimes stereotyped by other cyclists as angelic and incapable of wrongdoing, but a keen cyclist baddy might use this MO. They'd know exactly what to nick and how to remove it cleanly from the target bike. Only the simplest multi-tool is needed to get most of the components off a bike PDQ. Dressed in cycling togs they'd not attract attention faffing about near locked bikes and only the unexpected return of the owner of the bike being stripped would risk discovery. Bike parts are easily shifted by bike, especially if you have a vehicle nearby. The only bits of a bike "identifiable" ie with serial numbers, are the frame and possibly fork so there's little risk of detection through possession of the stolen property. Finally, a keen cyclist would have the cover when selling on and the knowledge to get the best price. One person on their own wouldn't amount to a crime wave but successful MO's are quickly copied by others.


thirdcrank wrote:Had somebody else not suggested it was happening, I'd not have thought of it. I'm generally doubtful of the idea of would-be burglars keeping an eye on houses: I'm pretty sure that most of it is opportunism and victims looking for explanations conclude that they've been watched. Thinking about it a bit more, the thief or thieves in this scenario needn't arrive by bike. Park a vehicle nearby but in a different street, get out in ordinary, non-descript togs, once away from the vehicle produce, say, a bike helmet and yellow jacket and to all but the most sceptical observer you are a cyclist at a bike rack. Walking back to your vehicle, even carrying a pair of handlebars + levers with a retail price of £1K+ you are still apparently a cyclist. With time to get the brakes and mechs off, they can go in your bag taking up no room and weighing little but still valuable if sold on by a fellow cyclist who seems to buy all the latest gear and then sell it when they've only had it five minutes.


I fear you both are right :-(
Still my point stands: according to what the shop said, almost all the bikes had been left in the same spots but the theft has happened only after the bikes were serviced... So there is definitely a good degree of cycling knowledge -in terms of what's valuable and how to remove it- and I won't be surprised if it's only one or two criminals playing this game. Yet, they're more than enough, causing a lot of damage!

thirdcrank
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Joined: 9 Jan 2007, 2:44pm

Re: Beware of handlebar thieves in north London!

Postby thirdcrank » 15 Feb 2019, 7:34pm

londonbikerider wrote: ... I fear you both are right :-(
Still my point stands: according to what the shop said, almost all the bikes had been left in the same spots but the theft has happened only after the bikes were serviced... So there is definitely a good degree of cycling knowledge -in terms of what's valuable and how to remove it- and I won't be surprised if it's only one or two criminals playing this game. Yet, they're more than enough, causing a lot of damage!


Both of me are agreeing with you. :D

PDQ Mobile
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Joined: 2 Aug 2015, 4:40pm

Re: Beware of handlebar thieves in north London!

Postby PDQ Mobile » 15 Feb 2019, 7:48pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:Yes, the "best" (most professional, successful) bike thieves are going to be cyclists, just as motorcycle thieves are bikers, etc.

I am not sure about that.
Of course a little familiarity with how components are fitted speeds up the process of stripping a bike but such knowledge can be acquired quickly and easliy without being what i would term "a cyclist".