My bike was stolen! What do I do!?!

Bike theft sucks. But unfortunately, it happens. Here are some tips on what to do if it happens to you.

1. Immediately contact your local police department and file a report. Call the Non-Emergency Police Assistance
line at 607-272-3245 for the Ithaca Police Department.

2. Check with local bike shops over the next few days to a few weeks to see if your bike was recently sold to them.  
It is more helpful if you have your serial number (usually located under the bottom bracket shell, between where your pedals & crank arms meet the bike), so be sure to write it down when you get your bike.  Some local shops will keep a record of the serial number for you.

3. Check Craigslist and ebay for the next few weeks and every so often to see if your bike is being sold online. If you find it, contact the police to help assist in retrieving your bike.

4. Print flyers about the stolen bike and take them to local bike shops.

5. Spread the word that your bike is stolen by sharing a photo and description with as much detail as possible on your Facebook page, and community groups and Facebook pages like Bike Walk Tompkins, Finger Lakes Cycling Club, and the Bicycle Pedestrian Advocacy Group.

5. If your bike was insured, contact your insurance company to file a claim.

What can I do to help prevent my bike from getting stolen?

Preventing bike theft isn't guaranteed, you can make it harder for the burglar and easier for you.

1. Write down the serial number and put it somewhere you won’t lose it. It can usually be found below the bottom bracket.  If possible, put a piece of paper with the serial number on the inside of the handlebar grips, in case you come across it someday on the street.

2. Take photos of your bike and keep specific details handy so that you can post information later if it is stolen.

3. Register your bike with Bike Index, a national database for bicycles. If you’re registered people can look up a bike they are trying to buy and determine if it was stolen from you.

4. NEVER EVER leave your bike unattended even for a second. 

5. ALWAYS lock your bike to a secure object, even when stored indoors. Use at least one U-lock as a primary lock, and a cable lock only as a second lock because they are easy to cut. Remove any detachable accessories or those can disappear, too.

6. Lock your bike in well-lit and well-travelled areas and if you consistently go to the same destination (think daily commute), don’t lock it up in the same location every day.

Helpful Links
The Proper Way to Lock Your Bike by
Lock Strategy by Sheldon Brown

I have some opinions on road conditions. Who can I talk to?

The City of Ithaca RequestTracker gives residents the option to report concerns such as sidewalk snow/ice, pothole notification, traffic/street crossing signals, street signs and more.

How do I know if my bike is ready to ride?

The best way to make sure your bike is safe and ready to ride is to schedule a spring bike tune-up at a local bike shop. If you ride year-round, get your bike tuned-up a few times a year. You can do a basic bike check using the ABC Quick Check method from our friends at League of American Cyclists.

There's no bike rack here!? How can I change that?

Send an e-mail to