What’s in a Name

by admin on August 21, 2012

“Can you please leave off the decals? I don’t want anyone to steal my bike.” It’s a special request we receive surprisingly often – mostly from people who live in the big city.

Many people shun ostentatious displays of wealth to avoid being targeted by thieves. For cars and homes, this makes sense. For bikes, it doesn’t work that way. Here’s a case that shows why Waterford decals on your bike actually helps foil, not encourage thieves:

About 15 years ago, Diane E. of Milwaukee purchased her Waterford and over the past decade and a half enjoyed many fine rides on the bike. A few weeks ago, she went into here garage for a ride, to only to find it gone – stolen!

She called her good friend and Milwaukee bike luminary Russell Jobs, who put out an call to the local shops. Lo and behold, within a few days, a young man walks into some local shop with a brown Waterford looking to swap out some pedals. The mechanic got suspicious because 1) the young man didn’t know what he had, 2) there had been an alert about a stolen Waterford, and 3) why would you put platform pedals on a Waterford anyway?

The young man was confronted, photographed, and ultimately arrested. The bike was recovered without damage. Diane’s back to enjoying her Waterford.

Just imagine how much harder it would have been to say, “Be on the lookout for a brown unmarked bike.” How much less suspicious would it be for someone to be working on an unmarked bike?

In talking to cops, most bike thieves don’t know a thing about bikes. If they do, they prefer a generic bike like a Huffy, not a bike that someone is going to care about. Unlike cars, there aren’t bike “chop shops”. It’s not worth the labor to tear a bike down for parts – even good parts. Trying to fence a 1997 Shimano Ultegra rear derailleur is just too much work, let alone fencing a 1997 Waterford (for which we keep serial number records).

So, keep our name on your bike – it’s better protection. Of course, the name comes with its obligations. You’ll have people asking you to brag about your bike. Tough duty.

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