Date Range: November 5 – 6, 2016
Summary: A simple overnight at a beach park near Coos Bay, Oregon proves costly when our two mountain bikes are stolen from the back of our fifthwheel in the night. Here are some lessons we’ve learned from the experience.
“Gray.” Hopes crushed. Oh well, it was one of them. One is better than none!
Retrieval of the Bike
3 Months Later…
Tips on Preventing & Dealing with Theft
- Lock things up! The RV, the Truck, your bikes, outside stuff. What security systems do you have in place? Are these locks durable or easily broken? We now have a bike lock that sounds an INCREDIBLY loud alarm if it is cut, so any thieves will be startled out of their skin and we will know what’s going on. If you want to check it out, it is call the NuLock. We’ve also heard of a lock that sprays the thief with a noxious vomit-inducing odor if cut called Skunklock.
- Don’t be an easy target. In hindsight, we were such an easy target. All alone, obviously not local, with valuables hanging out in plain sight. The dark night and nasty weather helped the thieves in their work.
- Don’t camp alone – try to have neighbors nearby for a “neighborhood watch.”
- Hide your possessions – the stuff in the back of your truck or hanging on the back of your RV.
- If you have a bad feeling, TRUST IT. $30-50/night for a nice campground is worth it over risking it boondocking in a shady area.
Prepare Before the Theft
- Serial Numbers! The police station recommended that we write down or take a picture of all of our valuables serial numbers. These are on cameras, computers, TVs, etc. This is a unique identifier for the item so that it can be traced back to you.
- Make/Model info
- Pictures – Detailed images as well as general pictures of your items. We had to search through all our photos to find decent side pictures of our bikes to provide for the Facebook ad and to the police, which was really frustrating at that time.
After a Theft
- Report to the Local Police. Provide as much information as possible – time of theft, theft location address, contact info, serial numbers, makes/models,
- Facebook Ad – This has to be done from a “Page” so if you don’t have one of these, set up one – they are free. Design and “Ad” and pay to promote it, and in the design you can select an area to target. This is is how we retrieved one of our bikes.
- Facebook Groups – Join as many Buy/Sell and Community groups for the area by searching for the town/county/etc. You can set up alerts for when people post with keywords like “bike” and you will be notified every time.
- Craigslist – monitor for your property. We heard a story about a girl who had a bike stolen once and watched Craigslist for a few weeks to see if anyone would try to sell it. Sure enough, it appeared. She immediately called the guy saying she was interested in buying the bike. They set up a time to meet. She asked him if she could take it for a test ride, and when he agreed she just rode off with it and re-stole her bike! We hoped this would happened to us, but no such luck.
Hope This Helps!
And no matter what, the bigger picture is that this was the only negative incident that’s happened to us in our year+ of travels so far. The compassion and support that we received from the Coos Bay community was also heartwarming. It’s the 5% of people out there who are out to ruin your day, but don’t let that cloud out the 95% of people who are good, kind, and caring.
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