The Priceonomics website explains that bike theft is rampant even if not very lucrative because "For all practical purposes, stealing a bike is risk-free crime." Reportedly, it's almost impossible to get caught for stealing a bike and even if you are, "the consequences are minimal."
In San Francisco, if you ever leave your bike unlocked, it will be stolen. If you use a cable lock to secure your bike, it will be stolen at some point. Unless you lock your bike with medieval-esque u-locks, your bike will be stolen from the streets of most American cities. Even if you take these strong precautions, your bike may still get stolen.
According the National Bike Registry and FBI, $350 million in bicycles are stolen in the United States each year. Beyond the financial cost of the crime, it's heartbreaking to find out someone stole your bike; bikers love their bikes.
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