What to do if your bike is stolen

There are approximately 285,000 cycle thefts a year in in England and Wales, however we know that many bike thefts are not reported to the police, or recorded as burglaries, so we estimate that this number is much higher.

If the worst does happen and you become a victim of theft, we recommend that you take the following steps to greatly improve the chances of your bike being recovered:

1.       Report your bike as stolen on BikeRegister

BikeRegister allows you to report your bike as stolen on BikeRegister, even if the bike has not previously been registered.  By reporting a bike as stolen on our database, it is easier for members of the public or the Police to immediately prove a bike is in the wrong hands.

2.       Report the theft to the police

You can report the theft to the police online, by phone by calling 101, or in person at your local police station. Ask for your crime reference number - this will help you trace the progress of your case and will be needed for your insurance claim. You should advise the police if the bike has been security marked and if it is registered on BikeRegister as this will increase the chances of the police being able to trace your stolen bike back to you if it is recovered.

Make sure that you add your crime reference number to the details of your theft on your BikeRegister account.

If your bike is registered with BikeRegister, we can help you get the word out about your stolen bike to our Twitter followers and add the details of your theft to our stolen bikes map

3.       Report the theft to your insurer

Once you have reported the crime to the police, you need to inform your insurer (preferably within 24 hours).  If you do not have specialist bike insurance, check your home contents insurance policy as depending on your policy, you may be covered.  Make sure you have your insurance policy number, crime reference number from the police and proof of ownership/purchase to hand when you contact your insurer.

4.       Alert your community and local bike shops

It is worth contacting local bike shops in your area, they can take your details and take details of your stolen bike, in case the thief comes into the shop and tries to offer the bike for sale. Make sure you tell them your bike is registered on BikeRegister so they can also use the free BikeChecker on the website to check whether a second-hand bike is listed as stolen.

It is also worth putting up flyers in your neighbourhood and posting on local community social groups on Facebook and Twitter –– we recommend you actively ask other cyclists to share your posts as it is amazing how fast they can be shared and how far these posts can go.

TIP: What to do if you see your stolen bike for sale

Bike thieves sometimes use internet sites like Gumtree, eBay and Facebook Marketplace to sell on stolen bicycles. 

If your bike is stolen, we recommend that you check online websites including Gumtree, eBay, Shpock and Facebook Marketplace to see if it has been listed for sale. You can also set up alerts on many of these websites to inform you if a bike with the same make and model becomes listed at a future date.

BikeRegister provides you with proof of ownership (downloadable via your log book in your account) in the case that your stolen bike is sold on.  In many instances, the Police are able to liaise with online market places to trace e-mail, phone numbers and other personal details belonging to thieves and track them down.

If you have found your bike for sale either online or in a bike shop, we do not recommend that you try and deal with the case yourself, meet up with the seller, or try and buy your bike back as this can be dangerous. We recommend that you contact the Police on 101 who can advise you of the best course of action.

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