What to do when your bike is stolen?

One day, I noticed somebody stole a part of my bike, so then I had to spend the afternoon figuring out what to do.

This is a guide for next time.

If you don’t have bike insurance then you should skip that step.

Also, if you don’t live in Berlin, the general steps should probably still be helpful.

My entire bike wasn’t stolen, only the light was stolen of it. The thief had to unscrew the bottom bolts in order to remove it.

But if your entire bike was stolen, the core steps should be the same.

Figure out the value of the stolen item(s)

Why do I say to do this is first? Well, because both the police report and my insurance wanted to know the cost of the item. Unfortunately, the store that I got my bike from didn’t list the replacement part on their store, so I had to email them, which took forever.

But to be honest, I didn’t wait for their reply, and just estimated the cost for the police report. But I waited for the answer before submitting to the insurance.

If you’re entire bike was stolen, then it is probably easier to figure out the value.

Report it to the police

Berlin has an online application for this (thanks to platypushh on Reddit for the advice.)


  1. Visit the online police station homepage.
  2. Click to online police station (Zur Internetwache)
  3. Click file a report / add more information (eine Anzeige erstatten / einen Nachtrag senden)
  4. Click relating to bikes (Anzeigen rund um das Fahrrad)
  5. Then, depending on what happened, you pick an option:
    • Stolen (Mein Fahrrad ist gestohlen worden)
    • Some parts were stolen (Von meinem Fahrrad sind Teile gestohlen worden)
    • Damaged (Mein Fahrrad wurde beschädigt)
  6. From there you can fill-out a report.
  7. As an output of this, you should get a case number, save that somewhere for later.

They ask for a summary of the situation, I wrote in English.

Here is my report - click to reveal (modified to hide personal details.)


Theft of a front light that was permanently attached to bike.


Today, I went to prepare my e-bike (RadMission1) so my friend could ride it.

As I was carrying the bike up the stairs, I realized the handlebar was super loose. So I went back to my flat to get the tools to tighten it.

But then I realized it was loose because two of the four screws holding it in were completely removed. I thought that was weird; I didn’t notice the handlebar being loose before. The screws missing were both on the bottom, which seemed like a weird coincidence. At this point, I was thinking, okay, so I can’t really strongly say it is theft yet, maybe they just vibrated out. For the screws to both vibrate out seemed possible but low probability.

Then I noticed a connector end was showing, this was not normal. But at this point, I was not thinking clearly because I had been sleeping 15 minutes before, and my friend just wanted to avoid being late for an appointment, so we made some temporary solution and they were on their way. They tested the bike and felt safe enough to go.

I went back to the apartment and started to try to figure out what the connector situation meant by looking at the manual. And then I realized that the connector was for the headlight. And then we confirmed that the headlight was indeed gone. And that is why exactly the two bottom screws were removed, because that’s how the light was held in place.

So I’m pretty confidence it was theft.

My friend, [name], was there with me. But we didn’t witness the actual theft.

The last time I remember riding my bike was [MONTH] [DAY].

My friend said the last time they used was longer ago before that. So it could have happened anytime between now and [MONTH] [DAY].

The bike was parked inside the building, at the bottom of the stairs. So not on the street, so in order to access it, the person had to get into the building, either with a key, by ringing someones door, following someone who already opened the door, or whatever else.

I looked in the area where my bike was parked for the screws and could not find them.

I am making a report not because I think the government will put effort into finding my bike, but because:

1. I need a police report for my bike insurance.

2. Maybe it will be helpful if a larger pattern of theft in the area is known.

Submit a claim to insurance

This will be different, depending on what company you use.

When I had this situation happen, I was using Getsafe. It was a terrible and frustrating experience; I used the mobile app and in order to submit a claim I had to talk to a chat-bot, which isn’t necessarily bad. But it kept crashing and bugging multiple times.

I had to learn the “idiosyncrasies” of the chat-bot. The images shouldn’t be too big, answer questions a certain way, some dialogue branch was glitched, it was crazy. It probably took me an hour.

I am still a Getsafe customer, but I pray that by the next time I have some problem, it is easier, otherwise I will have to look for a new company.

Buy replacement item(s)

Maybe I mis-understood, but my insurance not only wanted to know the cost for replacing the item, but also wanted to see a receipt. This was different than I expected, because normally in the USA when insurance pays after an accident, you can decide how to spend the money.

But since I was going to buy the thing anyways, it didn’t matter for me. But if your bike gets stolen and then you want to use this as an opportunity to upgrade bikes, I’m not really sure what to do.



My insurance refunded me the costs, which was great!


Some months later I got a letter in the mail from the police notifying me that they were pausing the case due to no progress being made. Dang, they got away.


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