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Motorcycle theft is rife during lockdown

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Rising motorcycle theft

You might be observing the government’s rules on self-isolation and limited time outside but motorcycle thieves across the UK aren’t.

Motorcycle theft is back on the rise. Opportunist thieves are taking advantage of the fact most people’s routines are far from normal. Despite the fact that most people are at home, thieves are cashing in on the number of motorcycles that aren’t properly secured. 

Those leaving their motorcycles parked outside their house with limited security are probably thinking the bike will be safe because:

a) they’re at home keeping an eye on it

b) no-one’s out and about to be able to pinch it.

This is naive, at best.

For most motorcycle thieves, the proceeds from stolen bikes fund their lifestyle, so they’re not about to isolate and watch their cash run out.

While most of us don’t want to break the rules or burden the already-busy services, thieves are using this time to scope out unsecured bikes or garages in remote locations to steal bikes. Underground or work car parks now no longer have anyone on the entrance. Communal garage areas are less busy, so thieves can spend more time checking them out. Car parks under flats have less footfall. People don’t want to get close to other people and so are less likely to challenge suspicious-looking activity. Thieves are taking advantage.

Despite the fact there are few fewer bikes commuting and left in city-centre locations, stolen motorcycle database bikersunited.co.uk has reported a growing trend in the numbers of stolen motorcycles that have been listed over the past month.

What you can do to prevent it

Sadly, a lot of these thefts are where the motorcycle has no additional security. A steering lock can be broken in seconds.

Despite pictures and videos of thieves using angle grinders in broad daylight, the majority of thieves look for – and steal – bikes with no security or with a very basic bit of security like a cheap disc lock that can be removed with a couple of hammer blows.

There are two simple layers of security

Every biker can use these to ward off the vast majority of thieves.

The first is a decent disc lock. A lock as simple as this one is a good bet. You’ll need some serious tools and time to get through it.

If the bike’s parked out on the street, then something with an alarm is handy as thieves hate being heard or seen. If you’ve got a little bit more money to spend, then this alarmed disc lock comes highly recommended.

Don’t buy a £10 disc lock from Amazon that comes with 100s of supposedly 5-star ratings. It’ll fall to pieces with one good hammer strike.

The second layer of security is a simple motorcycle cover. Keep the bike covered up and fewer people will see it.

Most thieves steal certain types of bike and while they’ll be able to make a good guess as to what’s under the cover, they won’t know what security’s being used. If they want to know, they’ll have to risk getting up close and personal with the bike and possibly a baseball-bat wielding owner..

That’s it. More security is always better as thieves want an easy target, so if you can, lock your bike to something solid. There’s a great guide here on motorcycle ground anchors which includes a great solution for anyone who can only park their bike in their front garden.

If you can’t fit a ground anchor, then try and use a motorcycle-specific security chain to either loop through another bike’s chain or around something solid, like a lamp post.

This is a difficult time for everyone. We’re fighting a virus that’s taking over the world but don’t let the plague of motorcycle theft ruin yours.

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