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Protect your parts. Easy to flog and almost untraceable. You can prevent this by putting a ball bearing with a couple of drops of epoxy into any Allen head fixings.

When you need to do repairs you can prise it out with a small screwdriver. It'll deter the average opportunist dirtbag. Lock your bike securely at home too. Even better, bring it indoors. Register your bike. A service such as Bike Register , will physically mark your bike with an identifying feature and link it to your identity on the police database. Certain councils and police constabularies offer free solutions, and there are alternatives to Bike Register. Police tape CC licensed by freefotouk on Flickr. Report it if gets stolen. Police now take bike theft far more seriously than they once did.

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Reporting stolen bikes helps give them the ammunition to keep it a priority. Hide messages inside your bike. Suitable places include the inside of the seat post, taped round the steerer column, inside the handlebar stem and taped inside the rim well. One day an inquisitive mechanic or police stolen goods recovery team might make your day.

Make your bike undesirable. Pink is the best colour for theft prevention according to road. It certainly raises the suspicions of Coventry police who once apprehended a drug dealer because they suspected the pink bike he was riding might be stolen. Thanks to road. Ko, The Rumpo Kid and obutterwick whose suggestions were included in an earlier version of this article. The aim of road. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

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Types of Identity Theft

Email John with comments, corrections or queries. Acknowledged by the Telegraph as a leading cycling journalist, John Stevenson has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.

He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Along with road. John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.

He joined road. Some articles mention that law enforcement is sure that a large network of international traffickers are systematically stealing. The authorities, much to Breitwieser's satisfaction, seem to have no clue as to whom they are chasing—the sheer scale of the thefts is so far beyond that of nearly every other case as to be practically inconceivable.

In the annals of art crime, it's hard to find someone who has stolen from ten different places. By the time the calendar flips to , by Breitwieser's calculations, he's nearing separate thefts and stolen objects. For six years, he's averaged one theft every two weeks. One year, he is responsible for half of all paintings stolen from French museums.


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By some combination of skill and luck, Breitwieser and Kleinklaus are doing everything right to avoid capture. They constantly shift the countries they target, alternating between rural and urban locations, large museums and small, while further mixing things up by stealing from churches, auction houses, and art fairs. They don't kick down doors or cover their faces with masks—actions that would trigger a much greater police response. Crime works best, Breitwieser believes, when no one realizes it's being committed.

Several times, he steals while they're on a guided tour, then casually continues the tour while holding the item. It's another burglar. Breitwieser takes advantage of the commotion and slips a painting under his coat. There are, inevitably, several close calls. Once, Breitwieser accidentally shatters a glass display case.

Another time, he returns to his car while holding sections of a 16th-century wooden altarpiece only to encounter a police officer in the process of giving him a parking ticket. While hiding the artwork beneath his jacket, he manages to persuade the officer to withdraw the ticket. Soon after a theft in France, roadblocks are set up on some of the routes leading from the museum, but Breitwieser and Kleinklaus manage to avoid being stopped. Then they visit an art gallery in Lucerne, Switzerland. It's a hot day, and Breitwieser is not wearing a jacket that he can use to hide a stolen object—and even worse, they are the gallery's only visitors.

The place is also directly across the street from a police station. Kleinklaus, according to Breitwieser, issues a warning. But Breitwieser has spotted a 17th-century still life by Dutch painter Willem van Aelst that is simply too tempting. And it seems so easy to take. He puts the painting under his arm and walks out as casually as if he's carrying a baguette. A gallery employee instantly spots the theft, accosts the couple outside the gallery, and escorts them across the street to the police.

Breitwieser and Kleinklaus remain in custody overnight but manage to convince the authorities that this is the first time they'd ever stolen and that they are terribly, deeply sorry. They are released with hardly any punishment. Rattled, the couple make a vow never to steal in Switzerland again and decide to take a break from thieving entirely.

The respite lasts all of three weeks before Breitwieser, at an auction in Paris, steals a scene of a grape harvest by Flemish painter David Vinckboons. After that, he returns to stealing as frequently as before. But that's fiction. Breitwieser is furious at nearly all actual art thieves, especially people like those who broke into Boston's Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum in Breitwieser would never consider cutting out a painting—that, he says, is vandalism. He wouldn't even roll up a canvas, an action that risks cracking the paint. About 50, artworks are stolen each year around the world, and according to the director of the London-based Art Loss Register, the most comprehensive database of stolen art, more than 99 percent of art thieves are motivated by profit rather than aesthetics.

This is why art crimes are typically solved on the back end, when the thieves try to sell the work. But with Breitwieser, law enforcement's chief strategy—poring over art-market data, waiting for the stolen items to reappear—is dead on arrival. Still, a multi-million-dollar collection of stolen art concealed in an attic bedroom in a middle-class suburb seems too extraordinary to remain secret forever.

If just one friend found out, it's inevitable others would learn and the game would be finished. Breitwieser and Kleinklaus, though, have no friends. They occasionally spend time with acquaintances but never invite anyone over. If repairs are needed in his room, he does them himself.

A security gate is not enough to bar a thief determined to enter an apartment car-park

Nobody is allowed to enter, ever, except him and his girlfriend. They're both nearing 30 years old when their universe starts to crumble. A notion had been building in Kleinklaus ever since the night they spent in police custody in Switzerland—that perhaps there's something more fulfilling than life as an outlaw and rooms filled with riches. She'd like to start a family. But not, she realizes, with the man she's been dating for almost a decade. There is no option for a child in their conscribed existence.

They could be arrested at any minute; they can't even entertain visitors. She begins to feel suffocated.