Tips to Prevent Bike Theft

Follow these tread worn tips for a smoother ride and save yourself a headache later..

Bicycle theft is a nationwide problem, and is one of the largest problems on university campuses. All types of bicycles, from the most expensive to the least, are stolen every day. They are a popular target with thieves, and can easily be sold in other areas of town. Thousands of dollars are lost every year in bikes and bike parts.

Most stolen bikes were not locked! Don’t make a bike thief's day. Bike thefts are preventable. The University of St. Thomas and its community is not immune to this problem, and may never be, but we can take measures to help prevent it.

  • Always ensure that your bicycle is locked properly and completely.
  • Always lock your bike, regardless of how long you step away or its cost.
  • Always lock your bike at home, on campus, on the street, or in a dormitory.
  • Don't leave valuables in your bike bag.

  • Don’t leave a bike unlocked!

  • Don't leave your bike locked in a rack overnight or over winter months.

  • Don't leave your bike unattended, even for a second!

  • Do not hide your bike in the bushes. Thieves know where to look.

  • Do not let people you don't know ride your bike. They may not come back.

  • Fasten locks tightly--don't leave room for crowbars to slide through.

  • Identify and mark you bike. Engrave, tape, paint and other means are helpful ways to personalize your bike and keep a photo of your bike on record.

  • If you use a regular padlock, purchase one with a 7/16" shank, the largest size that will fit a campus bike rack.

  • If your bicycle is at home, keep it in a locked garage, basement or room, not in the yard or driveway.

  • Insure your bike. Check your homeowner's policy to see if coverage is included.

  • Keep a record of your original purchase receipts and bike serial numbers.

  • Lock your bicycle by placing a chain or cable through both wheels, the frame and attaching it to a stationary object.

  • Lock your bike to a fixed, immovable object such as a bike rack.

  • Only lock your bike to approved racks, not trees, signposts or rails.

  • Remember to also lock parts attached with quick-release mechanisms.

  • Remember: the newer the bike, the more desirable to thieves.

  • Register your bike with UST's Bike Program (click on The Form link).

  • Select a location where there are other bikes.

  • Spend at least 10% of the cost of your bike on security. Consider how much it will cost to replace your bike when deciding how much you can afford to spend protecting your bike.

  • Take your bike seat with you if you have a quick release seat.

  • Try to use a bike rack that is in a well-lit or well-traveled area.

  • Use a hardened steel U-type lock - also consider using anti-pry devices.

  • When possible, keep your bike in your room.

  • Above all, don't fight back if someone tries to take your bike. Instead, remember what the thief looks like and the direction he/she went. Then call 5555 from an on-campus phone, or 911 from any phone.

  • While it's not possible to make your bicycle 100% theft-proof, remember that there are some simple steps you can take to increase the security of your bicycle and its parts. So, always lock your bike when you leave it! It takes only a few seconds for a thief to get away with your bike when it is left unlocked.

Always, secure the bike to a bike rack. If your bike is not secured to a solid object, all a thief has to do is pick it up and carry it away, or toss it into a motor vehicle and drive off. This has happened many times before—don't let it happen to you.