Where are bikes stolen? Neighborhoods and cities where bikes are reported as being stolen from on Craigslist

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[…] This is part 1 of a multi-part series.  Part 2 is here. […]

Pingback by clubantietam.com » Common words used in San Francisco Craigslist listings reporting stolen bikes on October 28, 2011 1:05 pm


Nice visualization! But as I think about it, I can’t help but imagine that if the data could be normalized (per bikes owned per capita per neighborhood, for instance), the spike in the Mission’s numbers would become yawnably flat. Isn’t this a tad like comparing the rate of umbrella thefts between London and Phoenix?

Comment by Bradley Thompson on November 2, 2011 5:39 pm


No offense, but these numbers are ridiculously low. We’ve had 5-10 bikes stolen in just our apartment building this year-a 40 unit place in the Mission. I’d guess that it’s hundreds of bikes a year in a bunch of the neighborhoods. If you sit in the Main Library you can see guys bringing in bikes from all over the place every 1/2 an hour…seems to be center for it.

Comment by matt mccabe on November 5, 2011 9:55 pm


Thanks for the comment, Bradley. I agree, it’d definitely be better if data were normalized – perhaps it could be done in a similar way by counting the total number of postings (including non-stolen) for each neighborhood or region.

Comment by phil on November 6, 2011 12:53 am


Thanks for the comment, Matt. You’re right, the numbers should be low because they only represent the number of people who have had their bike stolen who also care to post on craigslist about it.

Comment by phil on November 6, 2011 12:55 am


[…] In the discussion on his infographics, Yip wonders about the high bike theft numbers in Santa Cruz compared to San Francisco. The city of Santa Cruz and the student population at UC-Santa Cruz total about 80,000 people, which is right at 10% of San Francisco’s population. Per capita, Santa Cruz reported bike thefts are double that of San Francisco, but Santa Cruz has over four times San Francisco’s bike commute mode share (9% in Santa Cruz vs 2% in San Francisco). In absolute numbers, there are still more bikes on the street in San Francisco than in Santa Cruz, but bikes in Santa Cruz are a much more visible presence, which probably equates to more opportunities for thieves. […]

Pingback by Cyclelicious » Infographic: Bay Area stolen bikes on January 19, 2012 11:09 am


[…] In the discussion on his infographics, Yip wonders about the high bike theft numbers in Santa Cruz compared to San Francisco. The city of Santa Cruz and the student population at UC-Santa Cruz total about 80,000 people, which is right at 10% of San Francisco’s population. Per capita, Santa Cruz reported bike thefts are double that of San Francisco, but Santa Cruz has over four times San Francisco’s bike commute mode share (9% in Santa Cruz vs 2% in San Francisco). In absolute numbers, there are still more bikes on the street in San Francisco than in Santa Cruz, but bikes in Santa Cruz are a much more visible presence, which probably equates to more opportunities for thieves. […]

Pingback by Infographic: Bay Area stolen bikes | Bicycle News on January 19, 2012 8:05 pm


[…] high security bike parking, or allow tenants to bring bikes inside. By increasing access to safe bike parking, the citywide scheme could encourage a significant uptick in ridership with relatively small […]

Pingback by San Francisco Cyclists Make 75,000 Bike Trips A Day | Earth and Industry on February 18, 2012 9:04 am


[…] SF Bike Theft Workshop Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Although the title suggests you could learn how to steal a bike, the workshop is actually meant to be the opposite. The San Francisco Police Department is hosting a forum to explain their position on a growing problem of bike theft in the city. […]

Pingback by SF Bike Theft Workshop – flyingpenguin on March 27, 2012 2:05 pm


Thank you for this absolutely fascinating illustration of how Google tools can be put to practical use. FYI, a link to this post was published in a thread on stolen bikes in the group “Take Back Santa Cruz” on Facebook.

Comment by Frances Cherman on April 19, 2012 6:59 am


Thank you, Frances – I hope others in the Take Back Santa Cruz group are finding it useful as well!

Comment by phil on April 19, 2012 7:47 am


Cool visualization! Why not pull stolen bike data from police records? It seems like a larger subset of bike theft victims would file a police report than post on Craigslist (including myself).

Comment by John on July 23, 2013 6:19 pm


Thanks John! Honestly, it just didn’t cross my mind at the time. I had been doing a lot of searching on craigslist and became really interested in trying to find out what information could be gleaned from the stolen bike postings.

Comment by phil on September 4, 2013 11:15 pm

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