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Opinion: My Burnaby condo building is crime central for bike thieves. It’s unsettling

Some building residents are letting thieves in and then getting a cut of the sales.
Bike thief
Burnaby bike thieves often get inside access by residents.

Let me say upfront that I don’t actually own a bicycle.

So I haven’t been a victim of crime when it comes to stolen bikes. But that doesn’t mean that it’s not unsettling that my Burnaby building is crime central when it comes to bike thieves.

Our building has bike storage lockers on two levels of the underground parking lot and my neighbours in the building have told me they’ve had several bikes stolen despite the lockers being – you know – locked. This is apparently rampant in our building and now people are storing their bikes in their apartment units.

Since the locks haven’t been broken, that means that people in the building are either leaving the doors open or they’re stealing the bikes or they are letting thieves in (perhaps taking cut of the sales when the stolen bikes are taken).

I worry if I ever come home late at night that I’ll accidentally come across these thieves in my own building and get attacked for seeing something I wasn’t supposed to see.

I’m fed up.

Anyways, here are some useful tips to help you avoid losing your ride to theft.

Record Details About Your Bike

  • Record your bike’s serial number so it can be added to police computer records if it is stolen, which will enable police to return it to you if it is recovered (you can often find your bike’s serial number on a sticker or embossed on your bike, as well as on your record of sale or at the store where you purchased it)
  • Register your bike with a bike theft recovery service, like 529 Garage 
  • If you buy a bike privately (ie., Craigslist, Facebook), before making the purchase, look up the serial number in the Canadian Police Information Centre stolen bike database 
  • Photograph your bike, as a reference, to help us find it and/or return it to you

The above image shows where to find your bicycle's serial number:

  1. Underside of crank (most common location)
  2. Headset
  3. Rear stays
  4. Seat down tube next to crank
  5. Top of crank

Target Harden In Public

  • Never leave your bike unlocked in public
  • Always lock your bike with two different, high quality locks; (ie., a U-lock and a cable lock)
  • Remove the seat or a wheel as an extra deterrent (never lock your bike by the front wheel only)
  • If storing your bike at your residence, store it in a safe location using a lock or on your property inside a locked area

Be Vigilant At Home

  • If you are leaving your bike in or attached to your vehicle, lock it to your vehicle (high end mountain bikes are often stolen from the back of a pick-up truck or vehicle in large parking areas such as malls while the owner is running a short errand)
  • Choose appropriate places to park; well-lit areas with good visibility are best
  • Do not leave your bike on or in your vehicle overnight, even in secure underground parking lots (Secure underground parking lots are a popular stalking ground for bike thieves)
  • If you are required to store your bike in a designated area, such as a bike locker, use two different, high quality locks and remove the seat or a wheel
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