Cambridge says bike thefts up 62% in last month

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The City of Cambridge said it is seeing a major spike in stolen bikes, especially over the past month. Some bike shops believe the higher demand for bicycles coupled with lower inventory could be one reason for the increased thefts. Police say the problem is region-wide.

Cambridge Police said in the past four weeks bike thefts went up 62%. And they’re up 39% in 2021 compared to the 5-year average.

Jeff O’Connell works at Cambridge Bicycle on Mass Ave in Cambridge.

“Anything can be taken. It’s just making it more and more difficult,” O’Connell said.

Cambridge Bicycle urges all of its customers to use the right type of lock. They say the heavy-duty U-locks seem to hold up the best.

>>>MORE: City, state partnering on changes at Mass. and Cass

“To get through this, you have to use power tools like an angle grinder. And it makes a lot of noise, shoots sparks everywhere,” O’Connell said.

Cambridge Police also recommend riders register the bike’s serial number so you can later prove it is yours if it ever is stolen and later located. Jan Rosenboom said he registered his bike with MIT where he works.

“So that hopefully also adds another layer of protection by showing potential thieves it is registered,” Rosenboom said. “All bikes have a serial number, and it is in the same location; it’s right on the bottom of the frame, right by the pedals”

Bike experts say there’s one other common mistake: locking it to something that’s not completely secure.

“You can go around and just pull on the street sign and you will see they can come right out,” O’Connell said.