Sunday, November 2, 2014

Thieves gaining ground on U-Locks

A U-Lock, twisted open with a crowbar.

From CityLab -- What's going on here? I thought U-locks were the best kind of security against the evil mofos who would gank your ride. Police recommend them. Kryptonite insures them. I once lost the keys to one, and it took me 10 minutes with a Dremel to cut it off (a process that involved a broken saw wheel flying into my face). And now it seems people can bend them like Play-Doh?

The MacArthur bike rack is well-lit and in sight of a station attendant. Given the short period of time my cycle was there, and the fact the thief got away with ease, I guessed it was stolen in minutes. And according to San Francisco Police Department Officer Matt Friedman, that guess is probably correct: "Two minutes," he says. "Or less, in some cases."

Friedman runs the department's Twitter feed, @SFPDBikeTheft, and has dealt with a fair share of cycle rustlers. In my case, the thief obviously didn't use a battery-powered angle grinder, he says, which is what might've happened with the 1-shaped lock section pictured above. (That lock could also have been snipped with bolt cutters, according to these videos.) And while the BART officer I met said it could've been a pry bar, Friedman disagrees. [Full article ...]

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