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
- Be safe, be smart
- Get to a safe place.
- 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
- Is your bike worth more than your deductible? If not, you may want to buy a new bike on your own.
- 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
- Check with the police on the status of your case a few days after it occurs.
- Wait a reasonable amount of time, then replace the bike.
If Your Bike Is Recovered
- You’ll need to go to the police station to identify it. Ask what identification or verification you may need to bring with you.
- Contact your insurance agent with the news that you have recovered your bike.
- Have your bike assessed for damage.
If Your Bike Is Not Recovered
- Ask your insurance agent when you can purchase a new bike.
- 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.
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.