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Beware the ride-off robbers

Monday, 15th Jan 2018

CYCLISTS are being warned to watch out for thieves as latest figures show more 2400 bikes were reported stolen last financial year, RAA Insurance can reveal.

Bike thefts also jumped 17 per cent last January compared to the previous month as thousands of cycling fans flocked to the annual Tour Down Under race, police figures show.

RAA Insurance claims manager Hayley Cain said this week "is all about cycling but nothing can ruin a rider’s day more than returning to find their bike stolen''.

Bicycles can be a very tempting target for thieves, with some insured by RAA worth up to $8000.

Robbers will also steal lights, wheels, helmets and quick release seats, she said.

While not all robberies were reported, police figures showed Adelaide City Council was the most popular site for bike thieves, followed by Charles Sturt, Port Adelaide Enfield, Onkaparinga and Marion councils.

“During the past two financial years almost 17 per cent of all reported bike thefts in the state occurred in Adelaide council,’’ Ms Cain said.

There were several reasons why the Adelaide CBD was a hot spot for bike thieves, she said.

“This is because many workers and students ride into the CBD on a regular basis and the number of cyclists swells during the Tour Down Under events,’’ Ms Cain said.

Glenelg, Bowden, Salisbury and Warradale suburbs were among the top five postcodes for bike thefts during the past two financial years, the figures also showed.

“It’s important bike owners check the policy conditions of their insurance, as it may only cover the bike when it is in your home and not when it is in use,’’ Ms Cain said.

Cyclists could limit thieves’ opportunity to stealing their bike from home or while it’s in public locations, according to Ms Cain.

Tips for deterring bike thieves

  • Use a quality lock (preferably two locks of different types if in a high risk area or you have detachable wheels or seat) as thieves use bolt cutters and pliers
  • If you must leave it outdoors, park it in an open, well-lit area and lock it to a fixed object
  • Using a steel U-shaped lock and cable, lock your bike to a fixed object and wind the cable through both tires and the frame leaving as little space as possible within the "U" of the lock
  • Keep the lock off the ground and face the keyhole towards the ground
  • Remove the front wheel and lock both the wheel and the frame together if it's a quick-release wheel
  • Take your bike seat and accessories with you if they’re easily removable and/or expensive.
  • When you are at home keep the bike inside, in a locked shed or use an asset protector
  • Engrave your bike frame and take photos of bike and accessories.
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