Hotpads is at it again. Fresh off their cool map thing of Philadelphia-area bike shops (which has been updated), they've recently mapped the stolen bike hot spots in a bunch of major cities, including Philly. Bike commuting (and parking) is all the rage now, but so is the theft of your precious wheels. While you should always lock it up, the map clearly displays you should be particularly wary of parking your pedals in University City, Logan/Rittenhouse Square and the southern edge of Queen Village near Washington Ave. It's also no surprise to see hotter theft zones in the rapidly developing neighborhoods around Francisville, Kensington and Graduate Hospital/Grays Ferry. So, now that you know where the trouble spots are located, what can you do? Check out the full map:
As Hotpads notes, the FBI says that 200,000 bikes are stolen each year in the US. Unsurprisingly, Philly makes up a decent chunk of that number. A recent article from PhillyMag says that 2,122 bikes were reported to have been lifted last year, and we're on pace to top that number in 2014. Reported being the key word there as the actual number is apparently "three to four" times higher.
Also highlighted in that article was a woman's quest to find her bike through alternative methods. Reaching out to the Facebook group Philadelphia Stolen Bikes, Food Trust (yeah, Night Market!) employee Jessie Fritton was able to recover her wheels through a sting operation aided by Philly Police. According to PhillyMag:
"When a distraught and bikeless Fritton posted a notice on PSB, a member soon found a just-listed online ad for the same bike. Fritton contacted the police, who actually conducted an undercover sting to catch the culprit and return the bike. "I couldn't believe I got it back," she says."
So, study the map, know where the trouble spots are and always lock up your wheels!
· Stolen Bike Hotspots and How To Avoid Bike Thievery [Hotpads]
· Philadelphia: America's Worst City for Bike Thefts [PhillyMag]