Let’s be honest, no one wants to have their bike stolen. Least of all if it’s a brand spanking new and not so cheap carbon beauty that you’ve barely even ridden. So if the worst has happened, wait for the disbelief to settle, the knot in the stomach to ease up, and let’s get cracking on getting your bike back.
Report incident to the police
First and foremost, if you’re bike has been stolen, we highly recommend getting straight onto the police to report the incident. This is not only to speed up getting your bike back, but also should you need to make a claim with your insurance company, most have a limit from the incident, to when you need to report it.
We offer a 30 day deadline to report the theft to police. Also, with every Bikmo Plus policy we offer as standard a free DNA + forensic coding system worth £30 which means that the police will be able to identify the owner of a bike and get it back to them swiftly.
Spread the word online
Whether it’s social media, online forums or your blog, get the word out there that your bike has been stolen. Remember to include pictures as well as a detailed description, asking friends and family to share the post.
The more people that are aware of your bike being nicked, the more likely you are to get in back.
Search for CCTV visibility
So obviously you know where the bike was taken from, but do you know if there’s CCTV covering that area? It may well be that the whole theft has been caught on camera.
You might have to do some sweet talking in order for a business to let you view their CCTV, but if you break it down for them, and include the times they’re looking between, they may show a little more willing.
Go for a walk around your area
Taking a walk around your local area is worthwhile for two reasons. The first is, hopefully a walk will make that gut sinking feeling subside. The second reason is, it’s likely the bike is still close by within the first 24 hours of it being stolen. Think flea markets, car-boot sales, local pawn shops or popular bike racks in the local area.
Many thieves will steal a bike only to then lock it up shortly after, thinking that this will reduce the chances of them being caught with the bike in their possession.
Set up as many online alerts as you can
Google Alerts will trace any post which includes your key word search, which is useful should your beloved bike find itself on eBay, Gumtree or some other online selling platform. Find That Bike is a great site which lists all bikes which have been put up online that day.
Spread the word locally
Print out a load of flyers and get them out to local businesses, bike shops, cycling coffee shops as well as local flea markets. The flyers should include the make/model/colour and the crime reference number.
If there is a story relating to the bike, for example you completed a charity challenge bike ride or it’s of particularly high value, it wouldn’t hurt seeing if your local paper might be interested to run a story.
Keep an eye out in your local area
Bike thieves will often sell the bike as fast as they can, and it’s not unusual for the bike to pass through several hands before someone starts using it again. It’s then not unusual for the bike to be seen in the area that it was originally taken from.
Don’t give up hope
You might be feeling as though you’ve lost hope in all of humanity, but there have been countless cases where bikes have ended up back in the hands of their owners.
It was only recently that the owner of an ex-Team Sky Pinarello Dogma 2 had his bike returned to him by an honest cyclist who had, unbeknownst to him, purchased the stolen bike.
See, faith returned? Good luck!