There’s a saying that goes: There are those who have and those who will. This applies to most everything but particularly to people who’ve had their bicycles stolen. If you find yourself in such a situation, here's what to do:
1. Report the theft to your local police department and describe the bicycle in as much detail as you can. Include pictures of the bicycle as well as your serial number if you have it. If you don’t but you purchased your bike from a bicycle shop, then contact the shop as they may still have it on file!
2. Report your bicycle on the stolen bicycle index at BikeIndex.org.
3. If you live in Seattle, you can report your stolen bicycle to Seattle Bike Blog (www.seattlebikeblog.com), who partners with BikeIndex.org.
4. Post a picture of your stolen bike with the serial number and your contact information on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.). If you are a member of any bicycling groups on Facebook or other social media, share the picture with those pages. Let me know, I’d be happy to post it on any social media outlet I’m connected to!
5. Scan Craigslist ads in your area and surrounding areas for your bike. One simple way to do this if you are technologically savvy is to set up a search using the website IFTTT.com. With IFTTT.com, you can set up a search for the general details of your bike and it will send you an email if a posting arises in your area. For a more detailed discussion of how to do this, see my blog post: "How to use IFFTT..." (*IFTTT.com also works great for finding good deals on that new bike or bike part you are looking for without having to check Craigslist every day.
6. Call your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance to see how much of your bicycle is covered and what information they would like you to provide. Most insurers require a police report to have been filed within a short period of time after the loss.
DO IT NOW: USE YOUR PHONE TO TAKE A PICTURE OF YOUR BIKE (TAKE A FEW—FROM DIFFERENT ANGLES) AND YOUR BIKE’S SERIAL NUMBER!