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.


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.


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


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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