In this post we’ll talk you through every step you need to take after your bike’s been stolen and discuss some things you can do to prevent this from ever happening again.
Dedicated bicycle insurance can cover you for bicycle theft. Want a quick quote for comprehensive bicycle insurance cover? Get in touch and we’ll sort you out.
First Steps Once Your Bike Has Been Stolen
If your bike’s been stolen, whether from your home or when you’re out and about, first you need to contact the police. Then you need to contact your insurers.
How To Report Stolen Bike to The Police
You can report your stolen bike over the phone, and you may also be able to submit a crime report online. But for best results, visit your local police station. That way you’ll be able to talk to a police officer face-to-face as soon as possible.
Tell the police:
- As much as you can about where the theft took place. Where it happened, when it happened, and how you think it happened.
- As much as you can about the bike. The make and model, the frame number, and any unique features.
- Also show the police some pictures of the bike if you have them to hand.
The police will record the crime and give you a crime reference number. Keep this safe, as you’ll need it when telling your insurer.
Is It Worth Telling The Police About a Stolen Bike?
You might think that the police are too busy to track down bike thieves. But actually, the police recover quite a few stolen bikes. Often, where they struggle is in reuniting these bikes with their owners.
Tell the police about the theft and, if they recover your stolen bike, they’ll know exactly who to return it to. Of course, the police may never recover your bike. But you have a much better chance of getting your bike back if you tell the police, than if you do not.
In any case, if you want to claim for the theft on your bicycle insurance, then your insurers may ask for your crime reference number, which you can only get through reporting the theft.
When to Tell Your Insurer Your Bike’s Been Stolen
Tell your insurer as soon as possible, ideally within 24 hours of the theft. You’ll have to tell your insurer everything you told the police – where and when the theft happened, and as much as you can about the bike. You may also have to share your crime reference number.
Your insurer may also ask some questions about the lock you used to secure you bike. So be prepared to tell them the make and model, and how and where you locked your bike before it was stolen.
Other Steps To Take To Try to Find Your Stolen Bike
- Look for witnesses. If the bike was stolen in public, ask around any shops overlooking the scene of the crime, to see if anyone saw something. If it was stolen from your home, talk to your neighbours, or to your building’s maintenance team if you live in a flat.
- Print flyers. Put them around your local area, with as much details as possible about your bike, and where and when the theft took place. If nothing else, this will warn other cyclists in the area to remain vigilant, as thieves often target the same area multiple times. Also give your flyer to bike shops in your area.
- Go online. Do you use Twitter/X? If so, reach out to the local cycling community in your area, and let them know about the theft. Cyclists tend to look out for each other! Also browse online sales sites for bikes. You never know, yours might just show up for sale. If it does, don’t contact the seller directly. Instead, call the police, and tell them how you know that the bike is without question yours.
How To Prevent Bike Theft In Future
- Take steps to secure your bike. Read our full guide to preventing bike theft, with tips on how and where to secure it.
- Get your bike valued. This way, if your bike is ever stolen, you can tell your insurer exactly how much it was worth when making a claim. Read our guide to valuing your bike here.
- Register your bike. Register your bike’s frame number on a national bike registration database. This may make it much easier to trace your bike if it’s ever stolen.
Finally, if you don’t already have dedicated bicycle insurance, now’s the time to get yourself covered! Bike insurance can cover you in the event of a theft. So while it won’t make bike theft less likely, it can at least cover you for a replacement.
Want a quick quote for comprehensive bicycle insurance cover? Get in touch and we’ll sort you out.