Sunday, November 27, 2016

Fairfax Co Bike Theft Map, 2014-2016

We recently received data on locations of bike thefts in Fairfax Co between 2014-2016. Using Google Maps we've mapped those locations. There were nearly 1,000 thefts over the almost three year period, averaging about 1 bike theft every day. We wanted to know if there appeared to be a geographic pattern to the thefts.

There are obvious clusters in the more developed parts of the county such as Reston, Chantilly, Burke, Springfield, Baileys Crossroads, and the Route 1 corridor. Several thefts occurred around the Dunn Loring Metro Station.

I guess the take home message is that it's always a good idea to secure your bike with a good lock.

Bike thefts around Dunn Loring Metro Station

Obtaining the data was not easy. We initially asked police for the data. It exists in the Daily Blotter and so it seemed like a straightforward request. We were told that the data existed in a database, but "to narrow down the search of just bicycle thefts will require a FOIA request." We made the request, paid around $25, and received the data in a pdf document that we converted to a spreadsheet. We then imported the data into Google Maps.


Way to go! I had a bike stolen out of my garage, but I did not bother reporting it. Shining a light on this topic is useful.

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