Bike Thefts on the Rise

June 2021

An increasing number of bike thefts are occurring from inside and supposedly secure locations in residential high-rise buildings.

In 2020, 3,800 bikes were reported stolen throughout Toronto.  About one-third of reported thefts, 1,270 in total, came from high-rise buildings.  This is over triple the number of reported thefts in 2014.  The problem is likely worse since many thefts are unreported.

Bike owners are advised to use good-quality steel U-locks, and to secure both wheels to an immovable object.  Bikes should be registered with the police.  Taking a selfie with your bike helps to prove ownership should it be stolen.

Peak for bike thefts is June through October.  Most thefts occur between 9 am and midnight with peak hours being at noon and 5 pm to 7 pm.

Bike locks will not protect against a motivated thief.  The time it takes to break through a better-quality lock may discourage them from taking your bike rather than one with a lesser quality lock.

Communities can offer better protection by installing video surveillance systems to identify those sneaking into areas and stealing bikes.

Top five areas for bike theft in Toronto are the waterfront area, Bay Street corridor, Church-Yonge corridor, Niagara and the Annex.  Most popular bikes among those stolen are mountain bikes and black bicycles.