Spring Criminals Are Here, Missoula. Don’t Get Your Bike Stolen.
Spring is in the air, and so are criminals in Missoula. With the weather getting nicer chances are you are using that favorite bicycle to get around the Zoo and bike thieves are chomping at the bit to steal it.
If you've lived in Missoula and never had your bike stolen, did you really ever live in Missoula? Bike theft is rampant here. I've had two stolen in the 15 or so years I've lived here. One was stolen literally the day after I bought it. Looking back, both these thefts probably could have been prevented. Hopefully, this article helps you keep your two-wheeled mode of transportation with these tips.
Lock It Up!
This seems pretty self-explanatory, but I can't tell you how many times I've walked by a bike rack and noticed bikes without locks. You wouldn't leave your car doors unlocked, don't leave your bike unlocked, and make an easy target. I've spoken with a few of my cop friends, and they've all told me this is the number one reason your bike is getting ganked while you're at your favorite store buying Bubblicious. Buy a decent lock and use it every single time even if you're only going to be a few minutes.
This is another easy step that can really help if your bike does get taken. If you buy the bike new, keep all the records of the sale, and take and save pictures and serial numbers. If the thief tries to modify or paint the bike, you'll have a better chance of proving it's yours with good records.
Attach A GPS Tracker
I love technology. I wish this option was around when I was a kid. There are a ton of GPS trackers on the market (apple air tag etc) and they are very affordable now. Simply attach the tracker somewhere hidden on the bike, like under the seat or inside the handlebars, and connect it to the app via your phone. This will make an easy recovery if your bike does get taken.
What To Do If Your Bike Does Get Stolen?
Unfortunately with such high bike theft rates in Missoula, if you don't attach a tracker and keep records you might be out of luck. Time is of the essence here. As soon as you realize it's been stolen, report it to the police, and save a copy of the report. Now it's time for you to take action. Get on Craigslist, Facebook Market Place, and any other internet sale sites that you can think of. Visit local pawn shops as well. Also drive around your neighborhood, alleyways, etc. You'd be surprised how many bikes are stolen by someone just down the street.