Steals on wheels clampdown: London police launch operation to combat £28million ‘getaway’ vehicle thefts

London motorists are being urged to properly secure their mopeds, scooters and motorcycles in a bid to thwart thieves who steal them to commit other crimes.

Police officers will conduct a day of action including checks on parked up moped, raids on those suspecting of stealing such vehicles and the distribution of free locks to motorbike owners.

They will also be issuing advice to owners encouraging them to consider additional methods to secure their vehicles such as using fitted anchors, security loops, disc and chain locks, and audible alarms.

Detective Chief Inspector Clinton Blackburn from City of London Police said: “Motorcycles and mopeds stolen are being used to commit crimes including mobile phone snatches, smash and grabs as well as robberies.

“Working with partners as well as owners of motorbikes and mopeds we can reduce these crimes and bring the criminals to justice. I would urge anyone that sees someone acting suspiciously around these vehicles to call police immediately on 999.”

As other motor vehicles have become more secure, there has been a significant rise in criminals turning to mopeds, scooters and motorbikes to commit crime.

In the past year, there were in excess of 9,900 moped, scooter and motorcycle thefts reported across London – this equates to 27 such vehicles stolen in London every single day.

A police spokesman admitted it was difficult to determine the overall cost of this crime to victims, but if an average value of £3,000 is applied to each moped, scooter or motorcycle stolen, then the total theft value in the last 12 months is more than £28million pounds.

This criminality results in significant financial gain, whether from stripping vehicles for their parts and selling them on, or to use them to carry out offences such as robbery, burglary, and ‘snatches’ of mobile phones and other devices.

Top tips to keep your vehicle secure:

• Choose designated parking with a stand and security loop, or if this is not available try areas with lots of people, good lighting and CCTV.

• Use more than one lock, focusing on disc locks and chain locks, fitted tight to the bike and through difficult to remove parts.

• When leaving your bike for a long period or overnight, lock it to something secure and use a motorbike cover. At home consider using fitted anchors to secure your bike.

• Use audible alarms where possible to draw unwanted attention to the thieves.

• Mark your bike parts with the vehicle identification number (VIN) number, your postcode or registration number using an ultraviolet marker pen or property marking kit.

• Some insurance companies will offer discounts if you invest in certain security measures, so ask before you make your purchase.

Picture courtesy of 世書 名付, with thanks

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