Investigation Reveals the Extraordinary Methods Bike Thieves Are Using to Steal Your Wheels

It's a problem across America, but more bikes are stolen in Philadelphia than anywhere else in the world.

Bike theft is a problem across America but nowhere is the epidemic worse than in Philadelphia.

The city is ranked No. 1 for stolen cycles, according to a survey that appears on

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Thieves in Philadelphia are pretty crafty and will do just about anything to steal a bike. In one incident, two men used a ladder to lift a bike over a pole. In another case, a thief unscrewed a sign post to get a bike. In a third incident, two thieves even cut down a tree to steal a bike.

Lee Rogers, the owner of Bicycle Therapy in Philadelphia, assisted Inside Edition in finding out what would happen if a new bike was put on the street.

The bike was outfitted with a GPS tracking device installed by bike theft expert Jason Cecchettini.

“We will definitely find it. There is no way this bike is getting away from us,” he told Inside Edition’s Chief Investigative Correspondent Lisa Guerrero.

Guerrero locked up the bike at a busy corner downtown, which police records show is the No. 1 place for bike thefts in the city.

As day turned into night, our cameras kept rolling.

At 5:15 a.m. a man came along, and was filmed yanking the bike off the chain and leaving the area with it. Instantly, an alarm went off on Guerrero's cell phone.

Thanks to Cecchettini monitoring the GPS tracker, the bike was found two miles away, abandoned against a tree. It may have been left there because the back tire had a flat.

The thief, however, was nowhere in sight.

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Guerrero and Cecchettini parked down the block and monitored what would happen next.

About 30 minutes later, someone came along and took the bike, but it wasn’t the person who stole it originally.

Guerrero got out of the car to confront the man, asking him if the bike was his.

“I just found it on the side," he claimed. "I thought it was trash." 

When she told him it was stolen property, he handed it back.

“I would do nothing like that,” he added.

Guerrero may have gotten her bike back, but most are not so lucky.

So what can you do to minimize the chances of your bike getting stolen? The tips below may help:

1. Use a sturdy lock like a U-Lock. Thieves will usually look for an easy target.

2. Make sure you lock up the frame and both wheels.

3. Lock your bike to a sturdy object.

4. Lock your bike in a well-lit area with plenty of foot traffic.

5. Try not to lock your bike in the same location each day.

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