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Here are top-line tips on what do after a bike theft. For a more detailed article, read Bicycle Theft: What To Do.

WHN TIP – Advice from Experts: Listen to this podcast for tips on how to describe a suspect.

What To Do Immediately

  1. Be safe, be smart
  2. Get to a safe place.
  3. Call the police and give them relevant information about your bike and the event:
    • The registration number
    • The year
    • The make, model, color
    • A description of what was in/on your bike (basket, speedometer, water bottle, etc.)
    • Where you last saw or left your bike

WHN TIP: Write down the following: the case number, the officer’s badge number and contact information.

WHN TIP – Additional Steps: If you want to take further action, contact the National Bike Registry. For a small fee, the registry will post a description of your bike and the conditions of its disappearance for 6 months. You can also register your new bike with them for $10-25.

If You Have Insurance

  1. Is your bike worth more than your deductible? If not, you may want to buy a new bike on your own.
  2. If it is, you’ll want to file a claim with your insurance agency, either under your homeowner’s or renter’s policy or through your automobile insurance.

If You Don’t Have Insurance

  1. Check with the police on the status of your case a few days after it occurs.
  2. Wait a reasonable amount of time, then replace the bike.

If Your Bike Is Recovered

  1. You’ll need to go to the police station to identify it. Ask what identification or verification you may need to bring with you.
  2. Contact your insurance agent with the news that you have recovered your bike.
  3. Have your bike assessed for damage.

If Your Bike Is Not Recovered

  1. Ask your insurance agent when you can purchase a new bike.
  2. Once the check is received, purchase a replacement.

WHN TIP – Dollars Recovered: The amount of money you are covered for depends on the kind of coverage you have. Do not go ahead with bike repair until you have a clear understanding how much money you are getting from the insurance agency.


Remember …

The information provided here is not meant to be a substitute for professional legal advice. These tips are from first responders, lawyers, insurance agents and people who have shared real-life advice; always check with a lawyer or appropriate professional you trust before making any legal decisions.

Thank You …

A special thank you to the industry professionals, lawyers, insurance agents, first responders and people who gave us their time, insight and real-life advice.