Learn how bicycle thieves break into locked garages in seconds
It’s surprisingly easy for burglars to break into a garage door, even if it’s locked. All they need is a few seconds and a coat hanger to get the job done. If you’re a homeowner, and you keep an e-bike in your garage, it’s important to know how to protect yourself.
How thieves break into garage doors
A lot of garage doors have a safety release that can easily be tripped from the outside. Thieves and burglars can use a coat hanger (or something similarly shaped) to trip the safety release and then manually roll up or open the door.
If you look closely, you’ll probably notice a small hole at the top of your garage door. This is where thieves slip in the end of a coat hanger and then pull the safety release latch. Once it’s released, the automatic door opener is put on hold — and this is how they get inside.
If you have windows on your garage door, you might be even more at risk for burglary. Thieves can take a quick peek inside and decide whether your belongings are worth the risk of getting caught. And if you have an ebike stored in your garage, you might be out of luck.
Electric bikes retail for thousands of dollars and have a high resale value. This means if someone steals your electric bike, they can flip it for a profit online — no matter how old or beat up it might be.
How to prevent e-bike burglary from your garage
There are a few ways to up your security and peace of mind as a homeowner. Use these tips to help safe proof your garage from electric bike theft.
Easy DIY anti-theft tips
- If your garage door has windows, cover them so no one can see inside
- Always keep your valuables secure with their own locking devices, even if they’re inside a locked garage
- Install security cameras inside and outside the garage
- Use motion sensor lights to spotlight movement at night
- Use deadbolts and security braces against doors leading into your garage
- Install wedge door alarms, door jammers, and garage door alarms to make entry more difficult
Garage door anti-theft tips
To take it a step further, you can manipulate your automatic garage door openers safety release. Keep in mind this might require tools and you’ll want to check your owner’s manual before making any changes.
Many garage doors have safety releases so homeowners can get in and out of the garage in case of emergency, or if there’s no power. Have a backup plan for these types of situations if you decide to use one of these methods below.
- Use zip-ties or thin wires to secure the safety release in place. This keeps the safety release out of reach from outsiders with a coat hanger but lets you manually control the automatic opener from inside the garage
- Temporarily remove the safety release cord altogether. Keep it in a safe place so you can re-install it later if need be. Also, practice manually tripping the release from inside the garage so you know what to do in case of emergency
Ebike anti-theft tips
Even if you take every precaution listed above, it’s smart to invest in a security device specifically for your electric bike. Here are a few options to try and most of them are relatively inexpensive.
- Use strong, sturdy locks — and use more than one to lock up the wheels and the handlebars
- Invest in an electric bike anti-theft GPS tracker
- If you haven’t already, register your electric bike as soon as possible
- Don’t forget to lock up your electric bike battery. Use a chain or other security device to secure it to the bike frame
- Install a motion-activated electric bike alarm that trips when the bike is moved
- Invest in an electric bike insurance policy. Some policies start at just $8 per month
Protecting yourself against electric bike thieves is almost a full-time job. It takes a lot of resources and smart thinking to get ahead of thieves, and it’s best to have a few plans in place.
Things like locks and garage security can help prevent theft — and electric bike registration and insurance are great ways to protect yourself in the event it is stolen.
Electric bike security quick links
Use the links below to learn more about how to protect yourself against electric bike theft. If you have any questions, you can always give us a call or contact us online — we’re here to help!