Individuals can reduce the chances of their bicycles being stolen if they use a good lock and locking techniques and take precautionary measures to assist in the recovery of a stolen bicycle, such as registering their bicycle with the Toronto Police.
It is advisable to keep the following information about your bicycle on your person:
Several photos from various angles
The original sales receipt (if possible)
A detailed description, including the following:
Date/place of purchase
Tips to Keep Your Bicycle Safe
Before cycling to work, school or a transit location for the first time, visit the area and research the nearby bicycle parking amenities first.
Never leave accessories, like lights and bags, unattended with your bicycle.
If you do not feel comfortable parking your bicycle in public, consider using Bike Share Toronto for short-term rentals.
Best Locks to Use
Use a quality lock (a hardened steel U-lock or steel chain and padlock). U-locks provide a greater deterrence to theft when compared with cable locks.
Consider using two different types of locks (ex. U-lock for the front wheel and frame and a heavy duty cable lock for the rear wheel and frame), as thieves are less likely to carry two kinds of tools to break both locks.
Best Places to Lock Your Bicycle
Optimal bicycle racks (short-term use)
If parking your bicycle for a few hours during the daytime, always use a bike rack that is securely fastened to the ground or wall (sign poles, trees, fences are not as secure).
If possible, select a bicycle rack with at least two points of contact that allow the frame and wheels to both be locked together.
Visible racks in well-lit and well-travelled areas further deter bike theft.
Racks to avoid
Optimal bicycle parking locations (long-term use)
When possible, do not park your bike on the sidewalk or street overnight. If you must park your bicycle for a longer period of time or overnight, it is best practice to use a more secure facility, such as individual bike lockers or indoor bike rooms. If you live in a multi-residential building, confirm with your property management company if these amenities exist, or apply for a City of Toronto Bike Locker or Bicycle Station membership.
What to Do If Your Bicycle Is Stolen
Capture the date and time of the theft, and photos of the location.
Ensure that the bicycle was not removed by the property owner or manager, if it was parked on private property.
Report a missing bicycle to the policeby phone or online.
Inform your insurance company (if applicable).
Check eBay, Kijiji, Craigslist or other online classified advertising websites for recent postings. If you believe you have located your bicycle on an external website, always alert the police rather than contacting the seller directly.
Increase awareness online and in your community:
If your bicycle is unique to a certain type of cycling, you can try listing it on community websites and forums.
Use social media, such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to increase overall awareness.
Inform your local bike shops by providing the details and a photo of your bicycle.