The reality of bike theft in London
My long term test Suzuki GSX-R1000 was half-inched from a parking bay in London’s Farringdon Lane on Tuesday, April 21. It was picked out from the middle of a line of six or seven bikes. The others weren’t touched. It was just 400 miles old. My best guess is that it was a nick-to-order job. That’s what the police think too.
There is plenty of CCTV around there. And a witness reported seeing the gang lifting my bike into a van at 12.05pm. Little brothers, you have been watched…
The gangs operate out of white vans. They lift the bikes in and away. Locked it to something? They spray the metal with liquid nitrogen and shatter the locks. Alarms bother them little. Sgt Richard Hall of Islington’s Motorcycle Unit is going after them with a dedicated team. He said there have been cases where police have been in pursuit and the thieves have opened the van doors and thrown the stolen bike out of the back – at the police. Nice people.
" Another van crashed when we were in pursuit – with the bike in it, " he said. Stopping them isn’t going to be easy. If you spot anything that can help, give the Motorcycle Unit a call on 0208-345-1546. And if you see a bike being lifted into an unmarked white van… make the call.
For the record my bike started the day with the registration number GU04 YMY and the frame number 102306. It was blue and white. So if they are stupid enough to try to pass it on unmolested, you know what to do.
All my bike had to protect it was a disc lock. No chain, I’ll admit… but there was nowhere from within the parking bay to chain a lock to. Indeed, after the theft a colleague moved his bike outside of the parking bay so he could lock it to a No Entry sign. He got a £50 parking ticket within minutes.
Of course, you could blame me for not adding heavier duty locks. The even more uncharitable among you may blame Suzuki for not making a more secure bike. But frankly unless the next Suzuki I have weighs three tonnes and is too wide to go in the back of a van, that’s not much of an argument.
No, the people to blame are the butt-wipes who spirited the bike away. The people to blame are those who make the request for them to steal to order. The people to blame are those who buy parts they know can’t be legit.
The local authorities in Islington could do with a kick up the behind though. They experimented with bike anchors, which pop up from the Tarmac for bikes to be locked to. They were very well received. But they decided against rolling them out to cover the south of the area, their Congestion Charging zone, for ‘lack of funding’. That’s criminal in an area where if you lock your bike to something secure you end up paying a £50 fine. Perhaps that’s what all the fines will end up paying for? Perhaps.
Register and search for stolen bikes here: http://www.police.uk.net