High-tech bike theft prevention

Over the past few years, we’ve posted articles about bike theft prevention, from locking your bike, to web series about catching thieves, to Kickstarter-funded bike trackers, among many others.

In yesterday’s New York Times, there was a great article about the efforts of the San Francisco Police Department in combating bike theft using a variety of high-tech tools and techniques:

SAN FRANCISCO — Officer Matt Friedman fights crime with modern tools: Twitter, which he uses to publicize pictures of suspects and convicted criminals, and a GPS device, which he uses to track down stolen property.

In both cases, his lure is stolen bicycles — including the “bait bikes” that have recently been seeded throughout the city to tempt potential thieves. Equipped with GPS technology, the bicycles, which exist to be stolen, can be tracked down in real time and the thieves can be arrested.

Take a look at the complete article by visiting the NYT page here.

These aren’t run-of-the-mill “bait bikes”, either. SFPD doesn’t play around; they use expensive rigs equipped with GPS trackers to guarantee that when they catch up with offenders, they can charge them with a felony, not a slap on the wrist. Bike thieves, beware!!!


  1. Matt May 30, 2014 6:38 am 

    I love it… I’ve heard about some of the SFPD tactics before and I like their style! Much different than many other cities, where bike theft is something PDs don’t seem to have the time or inclination to even investigate.

  2. Mike Myers May 31, 2014 2:06 am 

    Bike thieves SUCK. I give SFPD credit for being smart enough to use the proper bait in their area—I would imagine Bay Area bike thieves aren’t going to bother stealing a Wal-Schwinn.

  3. Raiyn June 3, 2014 11:39 pm 

    I just want some of the “Is This A Bait Bike?” stickers.

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