SFPD fights bike theft with GPS and RFID bait


Seems pretty reasonable to me. They’re not just leaving them unlocked in a bad part of town. They don’t even have to catch that many crooks, the mere fact that any bike might be a sleeper should discourage some of the more professional bike rackets.

Great idea but I would think there are only a limited amount of places to hide the GPS transmitters and RFID tags and such things would be easily discovered and removed.

A bicycle is a pretty simple machine and even stuffing the transmitters into the seat or down tubes it would take me all of about 15 seconds with a bent coat hanger to probe for hidden devices.

Yes, the stickers they are handing out are a great idea too.

Inside the bikes tubes probably wouldn’t work unless you have a fancy carbon fiber type deal. The metal would block the GPS signal. A better idea might be to stuff it inside a tire (with a counterweight on the other side for balance). The rubber won’t block the signal and it would catch those assholes who steal bike tires off of locked up bikes.

Inside a tire could work but again, it would be a simple exercise to flatten it and check for devices before stealing it. Maybe inside the seat padding or tubing with an unobtrusive wire antenna hanging out.

The most obvious hidden-in-plain-sight location would be the bike computer itself or lights attached to the frame but that would be a dead giveaway to any respectable bike thief.

There’s just not that many places to hide something on a bike.

Yeah, but then you have to steal a bike with flat tires. Most bike theft seems to be “snip the lock, hop on, ride away in 5 seconds”, which makes even the act of needing to check a problem.

Plus, GPS equipment can be really small. You’ll have to pancake the tire to feel it.

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And RFID can be even smaller. You could hide an RFID tag in the frame, a tire, even under a sticker. Even if you can’t track it by satellite you can track which bike shops have more than their share of stolen goods.

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Sweet! Now, how do you use GPS and RFID to fight police brutality and corruption?

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Embed the chips in wearable cameras filming everything they do. Cops wearing cameras have been proven to behave MUCH better.

This rocks. Fuck bike thieves.

Reminds me of a thought I had last night - maybe old folks in nursing homes should wear webcams, so their relatives can check on how they’re being treated…

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