Bicycle Theft Trends in Fifth Precinct

From July 20 to August 18, 2010 in Fifth Precinct, there have been 46 theft reports of stolen bicycles. These reports have been scattered across the precinct and include bicycles stolen largely from outside residences and commercial or public buildings. This does not include burglary reports in which a bicycle may have been stolen.

The majority of the bicycles that have been stolen in the last month have been locked. Many of these locks were specified to be cable or chain locks. The only reports that specify U-locks were cases in which only the front wheel was locked with the U-lock, and the bicycle itself was detached and stolen.

The thieves appear to be able to operate quickly. In some cases, the bicycles were left alone for less than 15 minutes or were within a few feet of areas that seemed as though they would be well occupied.

Of the 46 bicycle theft reports, please see the following breakdown:

  • 36 of the 46 bicycles were locked (roughly 78%)
  • 2 of the 46 bicycles were unlocked (roughly 4%)
  • 8 of the 46 were unspecified whether or not they were locked (roughly 17%)

Regarding the owners of the bicycles:

  • 39 of the 46 owners live in Minneapolis (roughly 85%)
    • 32 of the 46 owners live in Fifth Precinct (roughly 70%)
    • 7 of the 46 owners live in Minneapolis in another precinct (roughly 15%)
  • 7 of the 46 owners live in the suburbs/outside of Minneapolis (roughly 15%)

Note that although it states 46 bicycles above, these statistics are based on the number of reports. In some cases, more than one bicycle was stolen so the actual number of stolen bicycles likely exceeds 46.

What You Can Do:

  • Use a U-lock. Cable and chain locks have been compromised in some cases. If you use a U-lock, be sure to lock it to the frame as well as front wheel. It’s better to lock the bicycle than to leave it unlocked.
  • Record the serial number on your bike. Thousands of bikes are stolen and recovered each year in Minneapolis.Last year only about 2% of recovered bicycles were returned to the owners. This is usually due to lack of serial numbers or an inability for the victim to positively identify their bicycle. Bicycles that are recovered and not returned to owners are sold at police auctions every year.
  • Call 911 on suspicious activity. This includes if you witness what appears to be a bike theft in progress or anyone loitering near parked bikes.
  • If you have any suspect information on bicycle thieves, please call the MPD Tips Line at 612.692.8477
  • Lock both wheels on your bike.
  • See the attached (and updated) bicycle theft prevention flyer for further tips and information on how to report recovered or stolen bicycles.

Please pass this e-alert along to friends, family and neighbors. Many of the victims of theft mentioned in this email live in Fifth Precinct or the city. If you know anyone connected to bike shops or bicyclist hang outs, please advise them of this information. We would like to help everyone continue to practice crime prevention tips so they can avoid becoming the victim of theft or other crimes.

Please visit to locate contacts in crime prevention for your area.

Remember please:

  1. Please pass this information on to your neighbors if they do not receive these emails (copy emails and paste them into a new message rather than forwarding them). Tell your neighbors how to sign up for these alerts – visit
  2. Please let your block club members know about these events.
  3. Be aware of your surroundings. Call 911 on any suspicious activity, persons, or vehicles.
  4. Watch for people on the street before exiting your home or vehicle.
  5. When you get into your car, lock your doors and do not just sit in the parked vehicle.
  6. Do not carry excessive cash, credit cards, or other items. Bring only what you need.
  7. Write down the numbers and contact information for all your credit/debit cards so you can call and cancel them immediately if they are taken or lost. Keep this information in a safe location.
  8. Get involved with (or start) your neighborhood Crime & Safety Committee.
  9. Know your Neighborhood Associations.
  10. If you have information on a crime, contact Crime Stoppers of Minnesota.
    1. 1-800-222-TIPS
    3. SMS Messaging: Text TIP674 (your message) to CRIMES (274637)
  11. If you witness a crime, try to look for this information:
    1. People: Estimated height, weight, build, age, race, gender, distinguishing features, and clothing.
    2. Vehicle: License plate number, make, model, year, and color.
    3. People and vehicles: Time they came/left, and what direction they were last seen headed.
    4. Also note if a weapon is involved.

For additional crime prevention resources please visit the City of Minneapolis’s crime prevention website at


One Response to “Bike Thefts On The Rise”

  1. Daniel on August 19th, 2010 5:50 PM

    Bike was stolen from the side of my house on 42nd & Nicollet. I was home. My dogs were braking like crazy inside. This did not stop the thief from stealing my bike in broad daylight.

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