What to Do If Your Bike is Stolen in Boston

Was your bike stolen in Boston? We're so sorry to hear that. We know how much it sucks to have it stolen.

Don't give up hope yet. Here are some steps you can take to increase the odds of finding it:

Start a 529 Garage missing bike alert
If you've already registered your bike, be sure to log into your account and start your missing bike alert. You'll be asked for some details about the theft such as the location. Starting an alert will help others in the community to contact you if they recover your bike. If you haven't already registered, it's not too late. You can still register with the information you have.

Report it
Be sure to report the theft to the police department where the theft occured. This may seem like an obvious step, but you'd be surprised at how many people don't bother to do it. If you registered your bike, you should have all the info like the make, model, and serial number to fill in your police report. Most law enforcement agencies have online reporting, which will save you a long time on hold.

You'll find Boston's police report form here:
Boston Police Department

Check online marketplaces
Thieves often try to sell stolen bikes online, so keep an eye out on sites like: Craigslist, OfferUp, and Facebook Marketplace. Be sure to check the listings in nearby cities and areas as well.

If you think you've found your bike on one of these sites, start by taking screenshots of the listing. Gather as much information as you can. You might try contacting the seller to ask questions about the bike, but keep the conversation short and sweet so that they don't get suspicious. Contact the police (preferably whoever you are working with on your police report) and provide them with the information you've gathered. They may require you to setup a meeting with the seller, and to alert them once you do.

If you do setup a meet with the seller, always do so in a public place and bring a friend with you. Remember, you've probably got more to lose than the seller does, so use caution.

Visit local bike shops
Bike thieves sometimes try to sell stolen bikes to local bike shops. Swing by the bike shops in your area and give them a heads up about your stolen bike. They may also be able to keep an eye out for any bikes that match your description. From your 529 Garage registration, you can print a poster for your missing bike alert that can you distribute to the shops.

Also, be sure to check out local swap meets and flea markets.

Spread the word on social media
Share the news of your stolen bike with your friends, family, and social media followers. The more eyes that are on the lookout, the better your chances of getting your bike back. Post a photo and description of your bike along with a link to your 529 Garage stolen bike page on your social media channels and ask your followers to share it.

Here's one that we found:

Stolen Bike Alert of New England

Check with your insurance provider
If you have a bike insurance policy, contact your insurance provider to see what is needed to file a claim. If you don't have specific bike insurance, it's possible that your homeowner or renter's insurance policy may cover your bike. Reach out to your broker to find out what your policy covers and what next steps are if they do cover bike theft.

If you aren't covered, and you have other bikes, you might consider signing up for a policy, or adding an addendum to your current policy, to protect your other bikes or replacement bike.

Here are some bike insurance companies you can check out:
Simple Bike Insurance
GoodCover Renter's Insurance
Oyster Bike Insurance

Do take action quickly, but also, you'll need to be patient. It can take a while to get your bike back, and you'll have a better chance of recovery if you continue to check online marketplaces and local groups for a few months.