Catch a Bike Thief

Bike Theft is a huge problem in South Florida – but what would you do if you caught someone taking another’s bike

Yehuda Moon: Bicycle Thief

Many of us – myself included – have had the strong desire to catch a thief in action but, what would you do?

Here are some tips:

  1. Resist the urge to be a hero. You can confront the thief/ves (wouldn’t that feel good!?) but if you are not completely confident that the thief won’t turn around and clock you with the bolt cutters, it’s not worth risking a lifetime of rides to save just one.
  2. Be calm but assertive. IF you have to confront them: One story we have heard works is from someone who just went up to the thieves and said, “hey – that’s my bike.” They mumbled and then quickly motorcycled away. The added perk is if you’re wrong, you’ll know right away by the look on the guy’s face. How would you respond if someone went up to you and claimed your saddle belonged to them?
  3. USE YOUR PHONE. Take a picture. Write down a description of the guy/s. Get video if you can. Call the police right away – you might get lucky and save the day.
  4. Leave a note: If you witness a theft and are unable to stop it, leave your contact information for the poor soul. S/he will want the photos and description you took.

These are the tips that I have heard and collected since becoming director of the Bike Coalition last May. I’m sure there are other smart tips and hope you’ll let us know what you think we’re missing.


  1. Please report it. Your report goes into police databases and supports police stings that focus on bike theft. Police don’t try to prevent repeats of crimes they don’t have on file.
  2. Post a picture and the serial number on Craiglist with the subject: BIKE STOLEN. There are success stories of reunited bikes and owners this way.
  3. Tell everyone you know. If you send us the craigslist link, we’ll be sure to share it on our facebook and twitter. We can email it out to members and friends in your area, too.


  1. For the love of two wheels, please lock your bicycle correctly.

REGISTER YOUR BIKE: Take a moment to register your bike today with the National Bike Registry: If your bike ever ends up in a police holding or with a reputable bike shop, you can get it back!


About Kathryn Moore / South Florida Bike Coalition

I'm the President of the South Florida Bike Coalition - a 100% volunteer organization of people dedicated to using their skills and experience to effect more, better bicycling from the Keys to Martin County.

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