5 tips to avoid bike theft in Winnipeg

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Winnipeg is a great city to bike in – it’s flat, and there are more bike lanes each year. Unfortunately, the city has a problem with bike theft because bikes are easy to move, and they can easily be resold. In the winter of 2021, five bikes were reported stolen per day with a total of 1,555 bikes reported stolen for the entire year (The Free Press).

Not all neighbourhoods had the same number of thefts, however (the data is from 2015-2016). The two neighbourhoods with the most theft are Wolseley and University (CTV News).

Map of bike thefts by neighbourhood in Winnipeg

Bike thefts by neighbourhood map, CTV News

Here are five tips to help you keep on riding!

  1. Keep the bike in your house

    Many people think that most bikes are stolen from outside of businesses. In fact, most bikes are stolen from inside the owner’s garage or shed. To keep your bike safe, store it inside your house.

  2. Register your bike with the Winnipeg Police

    You can register your bike online, and the fee is $ 7.14 (2022). The City of Winnipeg compares any bikes they find with those in their registry. If the Bicycle Recovery Officer receives a report about one that matches your bike’s description, they will contact you.

  3. Use two locks

    Use a U-Lock around the body and a tire. Use a second cable lock to secure both tires together. The cable lock prevents the tires from moving which discourages thieves. If you have to lock your bike outside, choose a busy place with a lot of light.

    Two parked and locked bikes

    Two bikes, six locks by Chris Martin on Flickr. CC-BY

  4. Make a report

    If your bike is stolen, file a report with the Winnipeg Police. Choose the “Theft under $25,000” option, and complete the online form. If the police find your bike, they will contact you. You can also file a report by calling 204-986-6222 or 311.

  5. Don’t buy a stolen bike

    Stolen bikes are often resold at a very low price. It’s a red flag if someone is selling a bike for really cheap (less than one hundred dollars). You can check if the serial number on the bike is registered by contacting the Bicycle Recovery Officer (call 311). You can also check the Facebook page, Winnipeg and area Stolen bikes to make sure no one has posted a message about a similar one that was stolen.

Winnipeggers are fighting back against bike theft, and you can enjoy many years of safe riding by following these tips!
 
By Nastashya Wall

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Community Resources

For more bike safety tips, read Getting ready to bike safely.

Click this link to watch a video on the city’s bike theft problem and what a Winnipeg cycling advocate views as a solution:
Bike thefts a ‘consistent problem’ in Winnipeg, City News everywhere

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