Yes, one could argue that bikes are often not too expensive and that we might have bigger fish to fry. Even though some of the bikes stolen cost thousands of dollars and some owners are certainly struggling to replace them there is more to it than just that.
Everyone that has had a bike stolen knows the feeling of being powerless and disappointed. It’s not fair and hard to accept. Knowing that we have almost 1,000 report bike thefts per year in Boulder (plus many unreported ones) means that someone breaks the law and takes someone else’s property almost 3x per day on average.
It overburdens our police officers. They spend a lot of their time registering those thefts and it greatly reduces their capacity to go out and solve those cases. If the actually theft numbers would be lower then we could rely much more on their help in pursuing leads.
My biggest issue with theft is that it reduces our collective trust in each other. The more we can trust each other as a community, the more we can flourish. It just makes Boulder, or any other town ridden by bike theft a better place to live if those numbers are brought down.
If we are using unsecure locks we are putting low hanging fruit in front of the opportunists. We are in essence part of the problem. If we switch to better locks and lock our bikes properly we become part of the solution. A high-security lock costs between $75 and $150. Yes, that quite a number of lattes or cappuccinos but you can enjoy those much better if you know that you still get to ride your bike back home.