1. Tell the police
If you’ve been a victim of a bike theft the first thing you should do is report it to the police.
This site gives you all the information needed to report the theft to your local police force online. Alternatively, you can call 101 to report a bike theft over the phone.
When reporting the theft provide as much info as possible, such as:
- Some general information on the theft
- Things that make your bike distinct. (bike make & type, parts and frame number if possible.)
- Pictures of your bike
2. Tell your insurance company
Once you’ve reported the theft to the police you can now contact your insurance provider, this could be a specialist cycle provider or your home insurer.
Bicycle insurance with Laka covers you for theft at home and on the go. If you’re planning on locking your bike up in a communal storage location, we ask the Laka collective to use a Sold Secure Gold or Diamond-rated lock.
When you submit a theft claim with Laka a specialist claims handler will guide you through the process of getting hold of a new bike.
First, they will check that the theft has been reported to the police.
They will also check that you have either photos of, or proof of purchase for a Sold Secure Gold or Diamond-rated lock on your profile.
They will then check that you have photos of your bike (again either photos or proof of purchase).
It’s as simple as that. Once these details are confirmed you will then get a new bike. #NewBikeDay!
3. Have a look online
If you still haven't replaced the bike, try reaching out to the cycling community and ask for help to spread the word.
There are loads of Facebook groups such as, Stolen Bikes in the UK, Stolen Bikes in London, and Find Stolen Bikes, where people will be able to assist with your search. Stolen Bikes UK is also a great website with a huge database of stolen bicycles.
It's also worth checking eBay and other online marketplaces for any signs of your lost bicycle. Sometimes the best way to retrieve a stolen bike is to think like a bike thief.
Perhaps look in less popular forums or sites, and remember the thief could have changed some bits and pieces in order to make it less recognisable.
If your bike was stolen in the London area, tweet the details out to our friends at @StolenRide. They've been known to recover bikes as far away as Spain and Moldova!
Check back with the police
The police often discover large amounts of stolen bikes after busting a prolific thief or discovering where stolen bikes are stored.
It's been known for local forces to discover 200+ bikes at once - which is a staggering amount. This is just one example of police discovering 100 bikes at somebody's home.
You can also check websites of police forces for stolen property. Some sites, like this one, have an inventory style page full of stolen bicycles. Your pride and joy could be in there somewhere!
Spotted your missing bike for sale?
There are plenty of stories of people who recover their stolen bike by spotting it for sale on the internet and then confronting the seller. This can be dangerous and it's not something we would recommend.
If you find yourself in this situation, then contact the seller of the bike via text message and arrange a meeting. Then, contact the police and tell them where you’ll be meeting them.