The summer is here and bicycle use is ever increasing. With the expansion of bicycle lanes throughout the City and rising fuel costs, more and more people are opting to utilize a bicycle for travel.
The cost of bicycles can vary greatly, making them quite tempting to street thieves. Street thefts are a fast method of generating money for perpetrators, and bicycles can be an easy target when unattended and not properly secured.
Light weight chains and cable locks are not recommended, they are readily defeated with small easily concealed tools. Technology for securing bicycles has increased, and while we cannot recommend specific products, knowledgeable local bicycle shop representatives can point you in the right direction.
Be sure to secure your bike to a fixed object. Parking meters and scaffolding are not proper locations, ideally an anchored bicycle rack is the best spot.
As with most any situation, a well lit area is best. Be sure to remove any accessories, and for longer term storage consider anchoring or locking the seat and removable wheels as well. Those items are easily removed and often a target for theft.
To be vigilant and to combat any rise of bicycle thefts we coordinate bike registration campaigns in precincts across New York City. Please visit our website for the latest schedule of events in your area. If you represent a community organization or bicycle rider group, please contact our office to schedule a customized registration drive for your organization.
Guard your Card!
Many of us today carry little cash and rely upon the convenience of a debit or credit card for our everyday purchases. This convenience can come with a price - the number of U.S. identity fraud victims rose 12 percent to 11.1 million adults last year, the highest level since the survey began in 2003.
Here are a few points to consider when using a credit or debit card for purchases:
- Carry only the cards you will be using, avoid storing additional credit cards in your wallet or handbag. Make note of what cards you carry, should you lose them it makes it that much easier to cancel them.
- When a store clerk is processing your card attempt to keep visual contact with the card.
- When used at a restaurant always check that your name is on the card given back to you.
- Review your card activity a few times per month, unauthorized activity can be detected early if you frequently check balances and activity.
- A good practice is to change PIN numbers when you change the clocks for daylight savings time. Never keep your PIN number with the card.
- If possible request to go "paperless" and manage your account activity online.
- When the card is not secured in your wallet or handbag it is vulnerable to theft. Remain aware and limit the exposure of the card. Today's surveillance cameras, cell phone cameras and wireless technology assist criminals in capturing information from your credit card without you even knowing it.
- Finally, make the report! 71 percent of fraud incidents began occurring in less than one week from when the data was first stolen. It is important to file a police report as soon as you notice the loss of the card, or the illegal activity.