Many Americans would have no idea how common it is for thieves to steal a car or home, but how many know that an estimated 15,000 to 20,000 bikes are stolen across the country each year?
A 2014 study estimated that bikes are stolen every two minutes, the U.S. Transportation Department said. Yet with few cities and states enacting laws against bike theft, bike owners usually have little recourse when their bikes get snatched.
Bike theft is not illegal in many U.S. cities and states. Several Colorado cities and states have a bike theft fee of 10 percent of the bike’s value, while one of Colorado’s largest cities – Denver – makes bicycle theft an enforceable misdemeanor with fines.
Some states also have “lock-down laws,” which require bike riders to lock a bike to a post, rail or tree.
Just this week, a bike thief was arrested after he failed to leave a rideless bike outside a Vancouver coffee shop.
“I had to go through the appropriate channels to get my bike back,” Jeff Bennett said Thursday. “There is no workable, easy way to get my bike back if it’s stolen.”
Yet the once-common ruse is now a scam. Earlier this year, this Daily Mail columnist showed how thieves have risen to the challenge of the bike’s cyclophilia.
Jeff Bennett, a 29-year-old from San Francisco, California, left his bike outside a bike shop in Vancouver, British Columbia. The thief left it alone while he took pictures with Bennett’s head, wearing what appeared to be a green sweatshirt and beard and with his sunglasses wrapped around his face.
Read more, at the Daily Mail.
Josh Rogin covers foreign affairs and national security, and politics for The Daily Beast. Follow him on Twitter at @joshrogin.