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Lock it or Lose it – nearly 7,000 reported bike thefts in the last 16 months

An Garda Síochána is reminding the public take extra precautions in keeping their bicycles safe by locking them in the most secure way possible.

Since January 2020 up to 23 April 2021 a total of 6,845 bicycles have been stolen across the country, with An Garda Síochána recovering 2,139 bicycles. Many cannot be returned to their owners as their serial numbers are not recorded.

Of the bicycles stolen since January 2020 only 1 in every 5 bike owners were able to provide their bicycle frame / serial number when reporting the theft to Gardaí. This causes problems reuniting bicycles with their owners.

An Garda Síochána has the following Crime Prevention advice to help owners protect their bikes from theft:

  • Spend 10% to 20% of the value of your bike on two locks.
  • Lock your bike tightly to an immovable object.
  • Keep the lock off the ground.
  • When storing your bike at home in a shed or garage ensure it is locked to an immovable object or another heavy item i.e a lawnmower
  • Take a photo of your bike, note the serial number and email it back to yourself or store it on the cloud so you have a record of it forever.
  • Lock your bike indoors or in well-lit areas if possible.

 An Garda Síochána has a number of recovered bicycles at Garda Stations around the country which have not yet been claimed.

Photos of bicycles which have been recovered but not yet returned to their owners are available by Division below and on An Garda Síochána’s Divisional Facebook Pages along with details for owners to claim their bike.

Crime Prevention Officer in the Galway Garda Division Sergeant Michael Walsh said, “We are appealing to all bicycle owners to ensure they lock their bikes as securely as possible when they are not in use. Anecdotally, more people are cycling since the start of the pandemic and this is to be welcomed. Schemes like cycle to work offer great opportunities to those taking up cycling but it does mean people are investing in more expensive bikes. Therefore, it makes sense to invest in quality locks to prevent bike theft. A good quality lock would involve spending 10% to 20% of the value of the bike on two locks. On average this would amount to €140/€150.

When locking your bike ensure you secure it tightly to an immovable object and keep the lock off of the ground.

This advice also extends to securing your bike at your home. If your bike is stored in a shed or garage ensure it is locked to either an immovable object or another heavy item, such as a lawnmower.

Sergeant Walsh added, “Take a photo of your bike. Note the serial number, which is located on the underside of your bike close to the pedals. Email the photo and serial number to yourself or store it on the cloud, so you will always have a record of it.

“If your bike is stolen, report the theft to Gardaí as soon as you can, and ensure you have your serial number to hand if you have it. If you have had your bicycle stolen, you can now go onto the Garda website www.garda.ie or our Garda divisional Facebook pages to view bicycles that are currently in our property stores”.

In addition An Garda Síochána wishes to remind the public that cyclists are regarded as vulnerable road users and motorists need to exercise care when encountering cyclists, alone or in groups.

“Motorists are advised to give cyclists the space to cycle safely, particularly when overtaking them. Cyclists can be thrown off course by sudden gusts of wind or when having to avoid uneven road surfaces. It is equally important to check your mirrors regularly as a cyclist or other road user could be in your blind spot. Before opening the door of your ensure you check for passing cyclists.

“We all have a responsibility, whether as motorists, cyclists, or pedestrians to share the road in a safe and responsible manner,” Sergeant Walsh concluded.

All bikes

Cavan/Monaghan

Cork City

Cork North

DMR East

DMR North

DMR South

DMR South Central

Donegal

Galway

Kerry

Limerick

Louth

Tipperary

Waterford

Westmeath

Wicklow

Division

Stolen 2020*Recovered 2020*

Stolen 1/1

- 23/4/21*

Recovered 1/1

- 23/4/21*

Cavan/Monaghan

28

17

2

1

Clare

35

14

4

1

Cork City

256

109

43

18

Cork North

39

33

5

4

Cork West

23

12

3

3

D.M.R. Eastern

582

105

124

25

D.M.R. North Central

616

233

163

51

D.M.R. Northern

727

167

150

23

D.M.R. South Central

991

257

187

30

D.M.R. Southern

487

135

125

25

D.M.R. Western

555

210

118

41

Donegal

15

10

3

3

Galway

208

51

19

15

Kerry

28

40

14

7

Kildare

127

32

19

7

Kilkenny/Carlow

49

31

11

9

Laois/Offaly

61

21

14

2

Limerick

208

55

41

12

Louth

129

50

47

18

Mayo

15

21

2

0

Meath

110

30

17

5

Roscommon/Longford

211306

Sligo/Leitrim

261257

Tipperary

322397

Waterford

76621711

Westmeath

28221524

Wexford

471492

Wicklow

11820113

Grand Total

5,6681,7991,177360

An Infographic with crime prevention measures is attached to this press release.

Some relevant statistics:

Since January 2020 there have been 6,477 incidents of bicycle theft across the country with a total of 6,845 bicycles stolen.

Over the same period 2,139 bicycles have been recovered. This figure reflects bicycles recovered over the period 1 January 2020 to 23 April 2021 and does not necessarily relate to the bicycles stolen within that time period.

Of the 6,845 bicycles stolen, 78% (5,362) had no serial number recorded.

Figures from the Garda Analysis Services show that bicycle theft has decreased nationally by almost 1% in January 2020 compared with January 2019.

*All statistics are preliminary and are subject to change.