Police warning over thefts from garages

Published: 29 April 2008

Police have warned of a rise in motorcycle thefts from owner’s garages.

A Hampshire Police spokesman said: “We’ve recently had a spate of motorcycle thefts from garages.”

The force has been unable as yet to provide figures but the spokesman added: “We know there’s been an issue with it this last couple of months or so.” He said the force was preparing advice for riders to minimise their risk of being a victim.

Vehicle theft expert Ken German, who sits on the Motorcycle Crime Reduction Group (MCRG), said thefts from garages indicated organised criminals were at work.

“Nobody does a garage for the sake of it. You’ve got to know what’s inside,” he said.

He said the problem was unlikely to be isolated to a particular region as the gangs responsible travel.

Latest advice issued by Thames Valley Police – one of the biggest force areas in the country, covering Oxfordshire, Berkshire and Buckinghamshire, states: “Many bikes are removed from the owner's garage.

"Consider a ground anchor as this provides good and simple security. You may want to buy a silent alarm which alerts you if someone attempts to enter your garage.”

The force warns: “Don't leave the garage keys in an obvious place, as thieves will break into your home to retrieve them if they are easily accessible. And always remember to lock the garage.

“Keep all your keys in a safe and hidden place, well away from doors, windows, and catflaps. This way your keys cannot be seen from outside and thieves cannot "fish" for keys through openings.”

The MCRG on which German sits is a partnership of motorcycle industry, insurance and rider group representatives aimed at tackling theft. Other members include the Motorcycle Industry Association.

Get MCN, on sale April 30, to find out how German thinks criminal gangs could use DVLA to find out where you live using your registration number.