Theft and Locking

Bike theft is a real problem in Denver, but thankfully there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of being targeted . Click to learn more about safe locking habits and what to do when disaster strikes.

How to lock your bike

Proper locking is the best way to defend against bike theft, and you should always lock up your bicycles if they’re kept outside or in a garage. Otherwise, keep them inside the house.Always use a hardened-steel U-Lock as your primary lock. Cable locks and cheap U-Locks can easily be cut with handheld tools, and are often targeted by thieves. Secure your wheels with locking skewers or cable around both wheels. Lock the U-Lock to the bike frame, never just the wheels, and to a secure rack or pole. Allow for as little space within the lock as possible, as loose locks are easier to break into.

Register your bike

Denver Police Department asks that everyone register their bike to help return lost and stolen bikes back to their rightful owners. You may also register your bike at any police station or COP Shop. Registration is quick and easy, and may even help you get your bike back when disaster strikes. Click here to register your bike today!

Checklist if your Bike is Stolen

  • File a report with the Denver Police Department. You can file it online, but investigators strongly recommend reporting it in person at the nearest station. Provide registration info, the serial number, and pictures if you have them.
  • Tweet a photo, description and serial number of your bike to @bikedenver. Include information about where it was stolen and any other details of the theft so our followers can be on the lookout.
  • Look for cameras near where your bike was stolen, as buildings will often have cameras facing the street. Contact the building owner to recover tapes.
  • Post your bike as “Stolen” in the bikes section of Craigslist. If you receive a tip or info, contact the police. Do not attempt to recover bike on your own.
  • Keep an eye on craigslist, eBay, other bike-related sites, and visit local flea markets and pawn shops to look for your bike. If you do spot your bike, call the local police immediately and ask them to assist in your recovery.
  • File a claim with your renter's or homeowner’s insurance company. Sometimes bike theft is covered.

Bait Bikes

In an effort to bring the dirty scoundrels to justice, Denver Police began using bait bikes equipped with GPS tracking devices to catch bike thieves in March of 2015. There have already been over 20 arrests in the program's first few months and DPD is hopeful that it will help deter future bike thefts. Keep up the good work DPD!