Stolen Bicycles Bay Area

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Welcome to the Stolen Bicycles: Bay Area. We hope this email group is a useful resource for those of you who have been the unlucky target of a bike thief. It should, however, be just one tool in your toolkit in the recovery of your bicycle. While we'll hopefully build up a large subscriber base so that we can spread the word far and wide when a bicycle is stolen through this list, you should also take the following steps to get your bike back:

  • File a police report: San FranciscoOaklandBerkeleySan Jose. This is crucial and should be the first step you take! Police officers recover stolen bicycles quite often, but without proper documentation, they can't be returned to their owners. They'll also ask for a report if you need their assistance. It's also better to file the report in person (which expedites the process to 1-2 days) via phone / online (up to 10 days). 
  • Start spreading the word on your personal social networks, email your cycling clubs/teams, post on cycling forums and see if you can get the attention of the local media. Do whatever it takes to get everyone aware of the theft. 
  • Scan Craigslist and eBay to see if it pops up there. Post an ad on Craigslist about your missing bike. Use Google alerts or this online tool, IFTTT.com, is pretty handy to set custom alerts that get sent to your email. Bike Index also suggests "to keep an eye on all local sales apps like OfferupNowLetgo, and 5miles. Thieves and fences have moved over to these apps en masse because it's so incredibly easy to move stolen goods on them." And SearchTempest.com lets you search multiple sites at once.
  • Go to your local flea markets right away and see if it's being sold there: Laney College (Oakland), Ashby (Berkeley), Karim's Cycle, San Jose Capital Express Way and in the cities of Danville, Roseville, Sebastopol and American Canyon. Apparently Coliseum (Oakland) only allows bike to be sold if the seller has proof of purchase. You can also join this Flickr group if you're in the Bay Area to share and peruse images taken. 7th and Market and the area behind Best Buy at Division and Florida Streets are notorious spots in San Francisco. Bring a photo of your bike and a police report. If you see your bike, show this documentation as proof of ownership to the sellers to reclaim your property. Don't hesitate to ask for police assistance. 
Bike Theft Prevention: 
  • Don't leave bikes in your car and/or on your roof/hitch racks; don't use cable locks and don't leave them unattended even if you think they're safe!
  • Most importantly, take photos of your bicycles and document the serial number and its components. This will help people ID the bike if they see it online or on the streets. 
  • Known hot spots for theft are: downtown SF, Tenderloin, the Mission, the Japanese tea gardens in Golden Gate Park, the 16 and 24th Street BART stations, the Haight and the area around City Hall. Be careful when locking your bike up in these areas. And Bikenapped! shows where bike thefts occur based on publicly available data front the city and individual reports. Add your bike to the database or visit it to view hotspots.
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Jenny Oh Hatfield is the owner of this group. Please email her at spamisevill at gmail dot com if you have questions or would like to be a moderator.