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Thread: Bike Thefts from Downtown DC Garages

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    Default Bike Thefts from Downtown DC Garages

    Hello --

    Just wanted to alert everyone that within the last week, one colleague had her bike stolen from a parking garage near Farragut Square and another colleague's bike was damaged in an unsuccessful attempt to steal it from a parking garage in the same vicinity.

    Both parking garages have full time attendants. In the first instance, there are also surveillance cameras. In the second instance, the parking garage entrance is in an alley and not in any way visible from the street.

    This leads me to believe that thieves are targeting parking garages in the downtown DC area, are very well aware of what to look for, where to look and how to get the job done without detection.

    If you work downtown, I would strongly urge you to park your bike in the most secure location you can. If you have to park in a parking garage without a bike cage, use a u-lock or get a beater bike for the purpose.

    I know this is not a new issue, but it seems the thieves are getting bolder so I thought I'd post a warning.

    Liz

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    We have an access controlled bike cage in our garage but it's visible from the street so I also lock up.

    A few months ago, a bike thief scammed his way into the cage (he "forgot his key" or piggybacked) and made off with a big wig's $$$ bike. They installed security cameras right after and I started using two cabled u-locks.

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    I may be changing jobs and working at 490 L'Enfant Plaza. Their website says they have a bike cage. Can anyone tell me anything about it? I presume it is in the garage? How secure is it?

    Many thanks.

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    Steve O's Avatar
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    Another strategy you can employ if there is no cage or particularly secure area is to take your bike to the very bottom level and lock it up there. I suspect thieves are looking for bikes wherever the first bike rack they can see is. It's rare for bikes to be parked down 2-3 levels, so I doubt they would ever venture down there. (This obviously assumes that the people who park down there are not themselves bike thieves.)

    I was doing the opposite at a public garage here in Rosslyn for about a year. There's a rack visible through the walls from the street that typically had 2-3 bikes parked at it. I would ride my bike up to a higher level--out of view from the street--and lock up there. Thieves would have had to find their way up a stairwell or walk up the ramps (which would likely raise some suspicion from the attendants) to find my bike.
    Last edited by Steve O; 06-17-2016 at 11:51 AM. Reason: One downside - you have to bike up a "hill' to get out

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve O View Post
    Another strategy you can employ if there is no cage or particularly secure area is to take your bike to the very bottom level and lock it up there. I suspect thieves are looking for bikes wherever the first bike rack they can see is. It's rare for bikes to be parked down 2-3 levels, so I doubt they would ever venture down there. (This obviously assumes that the people who park down there are not themselves bike thieves.)

    I was doing the opposite at a public garage here in Rosslyn for about a year. There's a rack visible through the walls from the street that typically had 2-3 bikes parked at it. I would ride my bike up to a higher level--out of view from the street--and lock up there. Thieves would have had to find their way up a stairwell or walk up the ramps (which would likely raise some suspicion from the attendants) to find my bike.
    This guys seems to know an awful lot about how bike thieving works. We got our eyes on you, Steve O.

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    Quote Originally Posted by KLizotte View Post
    I may be changing jobs and working at 490 L'Enfant Plaza. Their website says they have a bike cage. Can anyone tell me anything about it? I presume it is in the garage? How secure is it?

    Many thanks.
    I've been parking my bike in that neighborhood for 3 years now in various garages and outdoor locations, although not that exact garage. I've had 0 issues with theft and I haven't heard of any from my colleagues, even when my bike has been parked outside by the street. Just keep it locked up properly and you should be ok.

    There's so many bikes parked on racks by the street in SW DC that struggling with a bike cage is likely not worth it to a thief when there's expensive bikes in much more accessible locations.

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    I'd go with a two-lock method, one with a hefty cable. The goal is not to make it impossible, just more bother than they want to deal with.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tim Kelley View Post
    This guys seems to know an awful lot about how bike thieving works. We got our eyes on you, Steve O.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crickey7 View Post
    I'd go with a two-lock method, one with a hefty cable. The goal is not to make it impossible, just more bother than they want to deal with.
    Keep in mind that you can leave a lock there. You don't have to schlep it with you back and forth.

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    I leave a U-lock & cable in my building's garage. Despite a guard presence and 24hr cameras pointed directly at the bike racks somebody pilfered through every bag on the bikes parked there one day last summer. Thankfully they left the seat bag so I was only out a couple spare tubes and a cheap multi-tool. They also left my tire levers...guessing they had no idea what they were or that the seat bag was the most expensive item after the bike itself.

    For quick or emergency stops on the way to/from I carry an Abus folding lock or a cable lock.

    Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G930AZ using Tapatalk

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