Thursday, June 14, 2007

Top 10 Cities for Bike Theft According to Kryptonite

For more years than I’ve been at Kryptonite, we’ve done a press release to the media with the “Top 10 Worst Cities for Bicycle Theft”. We took a hiatus for a year or so, but we kept getting calls about a new list so we started it up again last year. What is it about Top 10 lists anyway? I think David Letterman started something years and years ago that has just caught on in our society. But, I digress…as I often do.

Because press releases are so old school, we are putting the information here for everyone to see. The list is from our proprietary data and it’s based on things we learned in 2006, after hundreds of shop visits, attending events, talking with community police and talking with customers on the phone, through email and at events. We’ve been out there longer than anyone and have some great relationships so we get some of the best intel around.

So….drum roll please…

Top 10 Cities for Bike Theft
1. New York City
2. Chicago
3. Boston
4. Philadelphia
5. San Jose
6. Los Angeles - tie
San Francisco - tie
8. Seattle
9. San Diego - tie
Washington, DC - tie
Portland, Oregon – tie

How does this compare with 2005? The order is different, but all the “regulars” are there. Eugene, Oregon has been replaced by Portland. Oakland, California seems to have been replaced by San Jose. Miami fell off, but LA returned after a couple of years off the list. San Diego hasn’t been on the list in a couple of years either.

The rest moved around a little bit, but were all still there. Oh, the non-mover? New York City. That city has great cyclists – messengers, commuters, around-towners…and, unfortunately, with all of those bikes comes theft. It’s why we named our premiere series “New York”; it’s the best protection to fight these thieves.

Why do we do this list? Um...sell locks, of course. But, mostly to bring cyclists attention to an unpleasant topic (theft) so they can protect themselves. Nobody wants to think it is going to happen to them, but it can. We want all cyclists to get a lock that is appropriate for where you ride & lock and that you are comfortable with for carrying and using. Talk to your neighborhood bike dealer for help with this decision - what do they recommend and why. Talk to them about how to properly lock your bike, too. Here are some tips to get you started:

- always lock your bike, especially when at home
- two types of locks used at the same time are better than one
- lock to a fixed, immovable object; one that can not easily be cut, broken or removed
- lock in a visible, well-lit area
- lock in a location where there are other bikes
- if you commute, change up your locking routine so there isn’t a pattern – lock one place one day and somewhere else the next

We want everyone to have a great summer full of fabulous riding adventures with your family and friends. Following these tips should help you to do that.


bikerider said...

Is this ranking based on raw numbers, or per capita?

Tim Grahl said...

Yeah I'd like to see thefts vs number of bikes vs number of people in the city... do you have those stats?

mike said...

I have heard in the past the Philly was #1 per capita or per bike. Is that true?

Donna T. said...

Hi gang - this seems to be a hot topic every year, which is good because we want people thinking security so their trusty ride is always there when they want it, not in the hands of some jerk thief.

The list is our own list - we do use some stats both from communities and from our own guarantee program.

There is some great info from the FBI every year that we use in our research, too. You can fide it at:
They actually break out bike theft in their crime stats. And, the long version of their stats lists numbers by state and, in the past, they used to do per capita, too. I'm not sure if that is still available or not. Check it out.

bikerider said...

Sooo.... is the list based on raw numbers, or per capita? Or something else?

I think it's great that Kryptonite are increasing awareness and all that, but statistics without context are pretty useless.

Donna T. said...

bikerider - awareness is what we are aiming for here.

Have a great weekend filled with fabulous riding!

Fritz said...

Just call it "secret sauce" and be happy. I'm sure a lot of the data is proprietary -- they'd be nuts to release specific data about the claim payouts, for example. Plus a lot of the information probably is not available in a consistent format -- not every city reports bike theft data in the same way (or even at all). It's not scientific, but it's what we have.

Jerome said...

In addition to a good lock, registration of your bike is a solid proactive step to retrieving your wheels in the event of theft. offers free registration of bikes as well as the ability to list already stolen bikes