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Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Bike thefts down 17% in the GTA

CANADA - Last year in June Toronto police did a sting operation and discovered 2,865 bikes stored in garages scattered through the city.

The bicycle thief and mastermind was Igor Kenk, now facing a lengthy jail time for running one of the biggest bike theft operations Toronto has ever seen.

Since then however the number of complaints about bicycle theft has dropped 17% leading police to suspect several things:

#1. Overall bike theft is down about 17%.

#2. There is approx. 24,000 to 30,000 bike thefts in Toronto per year. Most go unreported. Presumably the number is dropping.

#3. There is probably several other people like Igor Kenk running large scale bike theft operations.

#4. If Toronto police did another sting operation they could probably catch another bike thief just as big as Igor Kenk. They could do a sting operation every year until bike theft becomes a crime that is just plain foolish on a large scale.


I recommend purchasing what's called a pinhead – a lock for the wheel. Then buy the best U-Lock you can. Some people prefer the larger U-locks because they're easier to lock up in difficult locations.

A Pinhead lock set sometimes comes with horseshoe shaped U-lock which is more difficult to break.

Pinhead locks replace original parts of a bike and remain in place. A nut, for instance, replaces a quick-release wheel skewer and can be released only by the owner's key. Best to have a mechanic install it for you, although if you are mechanically inclined you should be able to figure it out.

The Pinhead lock set was invented by Linda Young (see above photo), who had her bike stolen when she was 9 and has since dedicated her life to making bike locks more effective, both for the frame and the tires. Way to go Linda!

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Charles Moffat is equal parts bicycle mechanic, cyclist, painter, sculptor, fantasy writer, poet, website designer and pun maker. For more details see



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