Think a U-lock is enough protection for a D.C. bike? While being interviewed for the article “Bike Theft: A Victim, a Cop and a Thief on Capitol Hill,” which appears in this week’s dead-tree version of City Paper, an experienced bike thief suggested: “There’s no lock that can’t be broke,” including the all-mighty U-lock.

According to the thief, as long as the famous lock’s metal loop is attached to a bike frame (and whatever immovable object it’s been latched to) and not either of the bike’s wheels, it’s easy to bypass. Just thread a foot-long pipe between frame and bike lock, he explained, and crank it until the security device pops.

Russell Langley of Capitol Hill Bikes says it sounds like that method would work, especially with some of the cheaper U-locks. “Nothing is ever completely secure.”

Photo by Aaron Michael Brown