Cops report uptick in bike thefts in Flushing, Whitestone areas & give safety tips

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Flushing, Whitestone and College Point residents should take extra care when locking up their bicycles, according to authorities.

Officers from the 109th Precinct were out in the community last weekend letting cyclists know about a recent increase in bicycle thefts in the area. Perpetrators are often using bolt-cutting clippers, vice-grip pliers or lengths of pipe or wood to lift the property.

Residents should exercise care when locking up their bicycles, officers said, and be hesitant to leave it in one place for too long.

A bicycle should be locked through its frame and both wheels to an approved parking rack — preferably one with a thick frame. Cyclists who only lock the front wheel to the rack have returned to discover that was the only part of the bicycle left behind, authorities said.

If locking a bicycle to a metal post, which is another effective option, check that there’s a street sign attached at the top, as thieves could lift the bicycle up and over an empty pole. Be sure to also leave your bicycle in a well-lit area and avoid storing your bicycle in a public place overnight.

Thefts should be reported to your local precinct. The NYPD also offers a Bicycle Registration Program, which discourages bicycle thefts by engraving a serial number on the bike in a discreet location. A decal is also affixed, identifying it as registered with the NYPD.

If the decal fails to prevent theft, decal removal leaves behind the word “VOID,” which alerts police that the bicycle is stolen. Police are then able to track down the owner through the engraved serial number.

Residents interested in this service can call their local precinct and ask to speak to a Crime Prevention Officer.

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