We are urging cycle owners to be vigilant following a spate of thefts of high value bikes throughout Newport.
We would always urge bike owners to ensure their bikes are always safely stored away when they are not in use but we also want to make cyclists aware of the potential risks of using GPS riding recording systems such as Strava.
DCI Nick Wilkie said this kind of technology can actually let potential thieves pin point the exact location of your bike.
He continued “I would encourage anyone who uses these apps to check their privacy settings – you can select the information you want to share and who you want to share it with. Make sure your home address is hidden and start your route a few streets away from home. I would also advise against using a photo of your bike as your profile picture as this can allow thieves to identify and target high value bikes.”
Users of Strava and similar technology can easily check and amend their privacy settings by visiting their provider’s website.
He concludes “If you are buying a second hand bike, always ask for proof of purchase to ensure you are not purchasing a stolen bike.”
Other security precautions for bicycle owners include:
• Buy the best quality lock you can afford – for a decent lock you can expect to pay around £40 – or 20% of the value of your bike.
• Always use two different locks.
• Never buy a lock with a combination.
• When out and about, always secire your bike to an immovable object in a well- lit area.
• Avoid locking your bike in the same place on a regular basis – it could be stolen to order,
• Secure removable parts of your bike or take them with you.
• Register your bike for FREE on the national property database www.immobilise.com
• Insure your bike and be sure to include cover for thefts away from home.
• Take a photo of your bike and write a clear description for your own records.
• Consider electronic tagging and using property marking products.
• The safest place to store your bike at home is in your house – if you don’t have space in the house then secure it in a shed or garage and cover any windows so that it is not on view.