How to keep your bikes safe and secure this summer

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WEST MICHIGAN -- Warmer weather typically means you’ll find more people out and about riding bikes; while that sounds like a good thing, there have already been a number of people across West Michigan who've reported stolen bikes.

Fox 17 spoke to bicycle experts on how to keep your bikes all year long.

Those at Freewheeler Bike Shop says bikes are stolen almost on a daily basis.

Michael Baker is the head salesman at the bike shop in Grand Rapids. He shared how important it is to keep tabs on your bikes,

“Especially this time of year, people are trying to steal bikes,” Baker said. “College campuses are the worst place cause that’s where they go to look for them. They know kids have nice bikes and they’re not very well protected.”

It’s not just happening on campuses: thefts can happen right outside your home. For example, a West Michigan bicyclist shared in a Facebook group how her locked bike was stolen just a few days ago outside of her house.

There were several responses, with some saying it’s been going on for a long time, as well as someone saying multiple bikes of theirs have been stolen on the west side of Grand Rapids.

“They’re generally always locked, but the thieves are real clever about that stuff. They carry bolt cutters, wire cutters, things like that, hacks saws,” Baker said.

So, he has recommendations when you’re not outside riding it.

“Bring it inside at night or secure it in your garage, even if it’s in a garage, you still want to lock it to something, like a work bench, make it hard for them.”

Secure it as much as possible.

“I double lock it. There are times I even pull the seat and the seat post out of it, because they’ll steal those too.” “Nothing’s unbreakable, but the best thing you can possibly put on a bike is this thing right here. It’s called the New Yorker. It's like a solid link chain, but it weighs about 20 pounds; they can’t bust that thing open, they would need a blow torch.”

Thieves can also steal the wheels off the frame, if you don’t secure them.

“They’re not just looking for the whole bike, they’ll steal parts off of it too,” he said.

If your bike does get stolen, he says contact law enforcement.

“Report it to the police. Granted, they don’t always recover them, you’re not really going to have a good chance at getting it back.”

He said sometimes stolen bikes are given back to local bike shops.

“People let us know, they give a list of bikes of stolen bikes once in a

while to look out for,” Baker said. “We get a lot police in here, and lot of times they’ll let us know about something going on.”

Click here for more information on the Grand Rapids Crime Report.

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