Help prevent theft, secure your bike

INCIRLIK AIR BASE, TURKEY -- Most thieves are amateurs looking for an easy target. They're looking for areas which present the least risk of detection, the greatest opportunity for easy gain and the maximum potential for escape. Unfortunately, a thief doesn't need to look around very long to discover "Welcome Thief" signs unwittingly left around the base.

It is even more unfortunate when you realize that all it takes to make your belongings less inviting to a thief is a little common sense and a few inexpensive crime prevention measures.

Bike theft occurs on base year round. However, during the spring and summer months the rate of bicycle theft increases dramatically. In response to the anticipated thefts, security forces is asking you to take proactive measures to ensure you do not become a victim.

First, mark belongings. Personal identification markings can be any combination of numbers and letters designed to mark valuables. This makes it easier for security forces to trace stolen merchandise. When a new bike is purchased, put this marking on an inconspicuous part of the bicycle frame and on accessories with an engraving device.

Next, register the bike. Simply take the bicycle information to the 39th Security Forces Squadron, pass and registration office in Building833. A representative will record a complete description of the bicycle including the serial number along with the name, address and telephone number of the owner. Engraved personal identification marks on the bicycle would be a good piece of information to take with you when you go. Registration of a serial number and other identifying marks enables the police to easily trace a stolen bicycle to its rightful owner.

Next and the most important, lock it up. The best tool to help in combating this crime is properly securing bicycles. Bicycle racks provide the best protection, but if a rack is unavailable, secure bicycles to an immovable object. A good lock and knowing how to use it properly is also an important ingredient to success.

Finally, if your bike is stolen, report it immediately to the Law Enforcement Desk at 676-3200. If you see something suspicious, report it immediately. Remember, no method of crime prevention is guaranteed to work 100 percent of the time. However, in taking these steps you are denying opportunities to would-be criminals. Be smart. Lock your bike and make it a habit. These simple steps will help reduce the chances of becoming a victim.

Security forces and safety are having a bike and scooter rodeo at the base exchange on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring your bikes and scooters to be registered on base.