- Don't leave anything of value on your porch or deck without securing it. Bikes, grills, whatever. Buy some chain and a padlock.
- If you see any suspicious activity, call 911 and let them know.
- If you are the victim of a theft, tell the cops, even if it's after the fact. They can't stop crimes they're not told about. They can't see a pattern of thefts if no one reports them.
- If you have a bike, register it with the cops. You can do it online, and if it's recovered, they'll know who to get it back to.
The email from a reader:
"I live on Kenmore between Irving Park and Buena and there have been reports of bike thefts from people who use the alley between Kenmore and N Sheridan as their route.
This time last year I came home on my work bike to find my 3rd floor back porch door had been broken into. It's private and locks and I had a bike stolen.
Yesterday I came home from work and my landlady asked me to check on my bikes because she caught a couple of young men kicking in doors and stealing bicycles during business hours.
I asked her for something I could pass along and this is what she sent to me.
'At 5pm on a Tuesday, June 3rd, two males (early 20s, Latino) rode up on bikes in the alley. They were checking out a bike that was on the 1st floor porch of our building. When they saw me, they left, but kept coming back every 30 minutes or so to see if I was gone. Later I saw them riding away, and one had another bike by his side that he was rolling away.
The next Tuesday, they came back and ended up removing a wood rail on the porch to get to the bike they wanted. This is what they looked like: one had light skin and long wavy black hair in a ponytail. He was about 5'6" and slim and had a very aggressive walk. The other had darker skin, dark hair in a Afro, and and was slim, about 5'5". He stayed in the back and talked on a cell phone, like he was the lookout.'"