Sometimes even a U-lock isn’t enough.
The LAPD recently reported that bike theft is one of the few crimes that continues to increase in the face of falling crime rates in Los Angeles — as much as 200% in some areas in recent years.
Something Daveed Kapoor found out the hard way, despite doing everything right to secure his bike.
I’ll let him tell the story.
Monday night at 6:30pm I locked my bike to the LADOT inverted U-rack on Wilshire just west of Kenmore, as indicated in the photo. It was dark but in front of the Gaylord Apts entrance with fair amount of foot traffic, didn’t seem risky at all. I used my Kryptonite Evolution U-lock locked through the frame and rear wheel. This is my everyday city bike that I use to get everywhere all over LA. For 3 years I’ve been u-locking it on Central LA streets and never had a problem. I weigh 210 pounds, I kept breaking my wheels so a couple years ago I bought Aerospoke wheels, which are super heavy but don’t need to be trued. The wheels are attractive to thieves, so I use Pitlock locking skewers, which take are very theft proof, but can be removed using vice grips or a hammer and a wedge, and a lot of time. But in 3 years biking in LA almost every day I have never had a problem before.
When I came out of the Bounty two hours later at 8:30 pm, all that was left was my sawed-through U-lock in two pieces. Looks like a clean cut, I suspect they used an angle grinder. I’m guessing it was one of these van bike theft units that parks the van in front of the bike, cuts the lock off and quickly throws the bike in the van. But who knows…
He offers a good description of the bike and accessories, which should make it easy to identify if the thief tries to sell it intact or brings it into a bike shop.
- Bike was black 2010 GT Tachyon 3.0, 24 speed
- Pitlock Skewers
- Schwalbe Marathon Tires
- Black Aerospoke Wheels
- ISM Adamo Race Saddle
- Rear Rack w/ Linus ‘Sac’ Saddle Bag – with Black Fiji Sweater + Oakley Clear Industrial M Frame
- Glasses inside the bag
- 2 Gotham Industries Defender Bike Lights locked to the handlebar
- Light & Motion Vis 180 Rear Light
- Green Giro Hex Helmet was locked thru the U lock, taken as well
Kapoor estimates the total value of the bike and accessories as around $2000, making the crime Grand Theft. And he notes that police were very polite and took the crime seriously when he filed his report, something that doesn’t always happen.
If you see the bike or find it listed for sale, call the LAPD at 877/ASK-LAPD (877/275-5273). Or if you see a bike theft in progress, call 911.
And homeowner’s and renter’s will usually cover your bike in the event of theft, even when you’re away from home. So check with your agent and make sure you’re covered — and that your deductible is low enough to to make it worth filing a claim if your bike is stolen.
Because as this case shows, you can do everything right and still lose your bike to a determined thief.