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Transit police cracking down on bike thefts

MBTA officials say bike thefts at T stations have been rampant.

In response to what MBTA officials say is an increase in bicycle thefts at T stations, transit police hit the streets today to inform commuters on how to outsmart thieves.

Between 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. today, transit police passed out pamphlets at Alewife, South Station, Forest Hills, Green Street Station, Mattapan and Ashmont directing people how to properly lock their bikes, and also how to keep valuables in their vehicles out of thieves hands.

“The MBTA Transit Police have noticed an increase of the number of riders using bicycles to travel to stations, and ask that people practice techniques that make it difficult for thieves to steal their bikes," said MBTA Superintendent-in-Chief Joseph O'Connor.

The worst hit station, O'Connor said, is Alewife.

Some tips to keep bicycles safe include: writing down its serial number and keeping it in a wallet; registering it with the National Bike Registry so cops across the country can identify it if it is taken over state lines; buying a quality, heavy duty chain lock, since cable locks under five-eighths of an inch in diameter are easily cut; and varying where the bike gets locked up so thieves don't pick up on a pattern.

“In addition to using proper locking techniques people should utilize the Pedal and Park facilities that have CCTV cameras and require card access to further the possibility of theft," O'Connor said. “Every bicycle owner should know the serial number of their bike to assist the police in locating it should it ever be stolen.”