141 W Elm
Wichita, KS 67203
Bicycle larcenies tend to occur more frequently in areas that
have a condensed population, as with most other crimes. It is believed that far
more bicycle thefts actually occur than what is reported.
Because bicycles larcenies or thefts are very much crimes of opportunity, there
are a number of ways in which you can help prevent your bicycles from being
First of all, RECORD YOUR BICYCLE’S SERIAL
NUMBER. Keep these numbers in a safe place because it is
virtually impossible for law enforcement officers to return your
bicycle to you even if it is recovered if officers are not
provided with the serial numbers. This can be done on the
Property Inventory Sheet (see the right column for the link).
Oftentimes, the metal plate with the bicycle’s
serial number on it is removed when a bicycle is stolen. It is a
good idea to purchase an engraving tool and YOUR DRIVER’S
LICENSE NUMBER SHOULD BE ENGRAVED INTO THE FRAME OF THE BICYCLE.
This can be used as a secondary identification number and will
allow officers to return your bicycle to you if it is recovered.
Please do not use your social security number to identify your
Second of all, KEEP YOUR BICYCLE CHAINED UP AT
ALL TIMES. This includes when it is parked at your house or in
your backyard. College campuses and workplaces are also common
theft locations. There are a number of different types of
bicycles chain locks but “it is recommended that cyclists use
two locks of different types because this will defend the
secured bicycle against multiple perpetrator techniques”.2
Bicycle locks must be disengaged using several possible methods
in order for a theft to take a chained bike. This can be done
via striking, levering, or cutting the chain and/or lock. “Some
robust locks are sold with an insurance guarantee for the
bicycle they secure. The user must register the bike for the
insurance to be valid.”2 Secure your bicycle to the item you are
locking it to by the frame and not the tire.
Bicycles thefts occur for a variety of reasons. Bicycles are
easy to hide and therefore make attractive getaway vehicles if needed. They are
also relatively easy to steal and require few tools to do so. With the current
concerns about the economy, more and more citizens are obtaining bicycles for
transportation purposes, thereby providing criminals with more opportunities for
theft and a large need for bicycle parts and bicycles themselves. “In addition,
poor locking practices by cyclists ensure a constant supply of available
targets.”1 Finally, many thieves steal a bike simply
because they want one. Mountain bikes or BMXs are twice as likely to be taken as
other “ordinary” bicycles.
If your bicycle is stolen, you should call 911 and advise the
dispatcher that you need to report a bicycle theft. They will send a law
enforcement officer to your house who will take the report. You should have your
ID handy, as well as the bicycle’s serial number and any photographs of the
bicycle that you might have. There will be some occasions where this type of
report may be done over the telephone.
We, at the Sedgwick County Sheriff’s
Office, are dedicated to helping citizens combat crime in their
neighborhoods. But we need your help! By utilizing
crime prevention techniques around your home, work place, and
vehicles, you can decrease your chances of becoming a victim!
If you have any questions about what you could do to help
protect yourself and your property, please call either your
Community Liaison Unit at (316) 660-3920 or your Community
Policing Unit at (316) 660-0750.
information provided in this document is not intended to be
legal advice, but is merely intended to convey general
information commonly encountered when dealing with the subjects
discussed herein. Because laws can change very rapidly, we
cannot guarantee that any
Information on this document (or references contained therein)
is current or accurate. Additionally, laws differ from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and are subject to interpretation
of courts located in each county. Legal advice must be tailored
to the specific circumstances of each case and the information
provided herein may not be an appropriate fit for your
particular situation. The Sedgwick County Sheriff’s Office, its
employees, agents, or others will not be liable or responsible
for any claim, loss, injury, liability, or damages related to
use of this document or any reference provided herein
Property Inventory Pamphlet
Property Inventory Sheet (pdf)
Property Inventory Sheet (Excel)
Property Inventory Sheet Example
1Johnson, Shane D., Aiden Sidebottom, and Adam
Thorpe. "Bicycle Thefts." Problem-Oriented Guides for Police 52 (2008): 1-63.
Date Written: 12/23/2009
Date Reviewed: 12/03/2013
Written by: Deputy C. Fischer D1639
Reviewed by: J. Page D1642
Mission: To assure quality public services that provide for the present and future well-being of the citizens of Sedgwick County.
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