Preventing bicycle theft: Steps to take to keep your bikes safe

As the weather gets warmer, there is a chance that your bike may get stolen. 

LA CROSSE (WKBT) — Learning to ride a bike is the easy part. In La Crosse, keeping your bike safe is a little more difficult.

“It was locked up and they did cut it,” said Josh, whose bikes were stolen. 

In the past two years, Josh spent $2,000 to replace stolen bikes. 

“I’m out a bike and family time with my children,” Josh said. 

He isn’t the only one. Over the past two years, the 559 bikes have been reported stolen, according to the La Crosse Police Department. 

“I was told they’ll send an email out and watch out for my bike, but that’s all they can really do,” Josh said. 

The number of bikes stolen may be higher. Most people do not file police reports, said Matthew Christen, owner of the Wrench and Roll Collective bike shop. 

“We haven’t done much to curb the problem so I don’t see why it should be going down,” Christen said. 

People can take steps to protect their bikes as much as possible, he said. Bike owners should practice the three R’s: record, register, report. 

Christen recommended taking pictures of bikes in case they are stolen and registering them with the city of La Crosse. 

“We register just about any bikes that comes through here, whether it’s for repairs or being bought new,” Christen said. 

He also recommended filing a report the moment the bike is stolen.

“You never know, but I just wish people would automatically report something when it happens,” Christen said. 

Lastly, invest in a good lock, he said. 

“They should spend 20% of the value of their bike on a locking system,” Christen said.

All bikes locks are not universal, he said, and people should get locks based on the size of their bikes as well as where they keep them. Remember to lock your bike using both front and rear wheels and place your bike in a well-lit, visible area.

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