Monday, March 17, 2008

Bicycle parking bay needs camera surveillance

I think the bicycle parking bay needs camera surveillance!

Today, 17 Mar 2008
WHERE HAVE ALL MY BIKES GONE?
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Reader has lost 3 bicycles after parking them at Kembangan MRT station
Letter from Kelvin Kuan

"I live in the area around Telok Kurau and on most mornings, I ride my bicycle to the Kembangan MRT station to catch a train.

The first time I did that was about six months ago when I parked my $200 bike in the bicycle parking bay. When I came back later that day, it was missing. I made a police report but knew it was as good as gone - I told myself it was my fault for leaving an expensive bike there.

Then, I was given two bicycles by a friend - they were not in good condition but were still serviceable. I decided to use them to get to the station.

On one occasion, I had to park the two bikes together as I had forgotten to ride one home the previous night. I used two locks and chains, but when I got back the next day, both bikes were gone.

My most recent bicycle was in a sorry state. It was old, and its frame was rusting. Due to the recent weather conditions, I had to leave it at the station for three consecutive days as I was unable to ride home in the heavy rain. Guess what? The bicycle, together with its chain and lock, was stolen!

I am really frustrated because I cannot do anything about these thefts. The station manager at Kembangan said that the bicycle stand is not under their purview, and I know the police will definitely not go looking for an old bicycle. Some friends have said that their bikes have gone missing too, after they parked them at the station. Can the relevant authorities please comment on this ?"



Update
Today, 20 Mar 2008
EVEN HOUSES AREN'T SAFE
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Letter from Kwa Hwee Keng
Thief climbed over wooden fence to steal bicycle from porch


I sympathise with Kelvin Kuan "Where have all my bikes gone?" (March 17). I live near Kembangan MRT station, in the Siglap area.

Recently, my son's bicycle was also stolen. The thief climbed over the wooden fence of my house in the wee hours and stole the bicycle, which had been left on the porch. This, despite the fact that my porch is not visible from the road.

As Kelvin Kuan's bicycles were stolen despite their sorry state, I wonder if the demand for scrap metal has prompted these thefts.

WOULD YOU STILL PARK YOUR BIKE IN PUBLIC?
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Letter from Hoo Choon Lye


I refer to "Where have all my bikes gone?" (March 17) and fully empathise with Kelvin Kuan's plight.

My son lost two bicycles in less than a month. They were stolen from the bicycle park at Admiralty MRT station and a void deck at Woodlands Crescent. When I made a police report, the investigating officer told me that such cases are widespread. Having read about the thefts at Kembangan, it seems to me that such thefts are now rampant.

The public must be confident that it is safe for them to park their bicycles at designated bicycle parks. Thefts that occur erodes this confidence.

See also the comments below.

7 comments:

thomask said...

re-posting an older comment because it seems topical...

this video, http://quickrelease.tv/?p=327 has some sobering info about bike locks and their ability to be "overcome" by determined thieves.

moral of the story is use the best lock you can afford, always lock your bike (sounds obvious, but hey...), and try and lock the frame rather than the wheel. or better yet, lock the frame AND the wheel.

even camera surveillance is of limited help here i've found - a friend had his (locked) bike stolen from work, in an area under cctv view, but the security office were not interested in finding the tape, and then when pushed by the higher ups, said they had erased it already!

Mrs. & Mr. Biky said...

Hello Cycling Singapore Bloggers,

I would be glad to get in touch with you guys but could not find any contact details on the blog.

* Paul Barter
* Chelonia Munnster
* chuwasg
* Sivasothi
* LingtheMerciless

I am a passionate cyclist and have cycled from Germany to India some time ago. Now after two years building up the solar industry in Singapore I will start another tour through Africa.
I would be glad to hear from you.
amiram@cycle-generation.org

Cheers

Amiram

Ponder Stibbons said...

(I made a similar comment on my blog to this effect.) I think most bicycles I see at MRT stations are very badly locked and see no reason for this guy to be outraged, if he locked them as badly as most people seem to do (and if he had locked them better, I doubt his bikes would be stolen that frequently).
First common mistake: using a cable lock instead of a U-lock. I almost never see U-locks being used in Singapore.

Second mistake: locking only the front wheel to the rack, or even worse, not locking the bike to any immovable object but only to itself.

Given that there are tonnes of websites on how to best lock your bike, there is very little excuse for not doing so.

Anonymous said...

This particular MRT station is a hotbed for bike thieves. I lost 2 bikes (Uratas, <$100) there. Yes they took the lock, chains too.

I wonder if it is a syndicate at work..?

mb said...

I hardly see U-locks used too. Those regular cable locks are so damn easy to break.

I have a Kryptonite U-lock but I reckon even the cheaper U-locks (approx $20) are better choices than the cable locks used by most cyclists locking up at MRT stations.

Or a heavy chain lock would be good too.

And I also see people only lock the front wheel to the rack when they should be locking the frame to the wheels to the rack.

That said, any bike can be stolen. You can only buy time with proper locking. And you make your bike more troublesome to steal than the bike next to yours.

Or use a folding bike, and never have to leave it there.

Sivasothi said...

I got spooked about Kryptonite locks in 2004 just as I was about to buy one. A Boing Boing post surfaced with a link to a video of ballpoint pen opening this lock!

And a friend in Holland Village told me the one time he realised his U-lock might not have been properly engaged, his bike was stolen. Apparently there are fingers checking your locks all the time!

I've avoided the issue by not riding to appointments where I can't keep an eye on my bike. It's not an expensive bike and despite my shop's urging to "upgrade" after six years, I'd hate to lose it.

Anonymous said...

Dear Ponder Stibbons,
please get your facts right. i used two chain to lock my bikes one to the tyre 1 to the frame, and my locks are both cable chain. i do no think that you should try to understand the problem before making uwelcome remarks. thank you.
kelvin kuan