While national motorcycle theft has fallen in recent years, joy-riding youths are the most likely to steal your bike … and it looks like getting worse.
National Motor Vehicle Theft Reduction Council executive director Ray Carroll says there are “no hard stats” on who steals motorcycles.
“Only around 48% of motorcycles are ever recovered and these are mostly bikes that have been taken for a joy ride and then dumped,” he says.
“Young guys are probably responsible for a significant percentage of those particularly for the off road bikes that are stolen from backyard sheds and home garages etc.”
However, NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research stats show that there has been a significant 70% reduction in all vehicle thefts by teens in the past 15 years, while those aged 25-34 have remained static.
Yet the theft council is concerned that the decline in youth auto theft will rise again due to the uncertain economic outlook and rising youth unemployment around the country.
Of those bikes that are stolen for profit and never recovered, Ray says there is a much heavier involvement by “professional” criminals, organised crime gangs and “people in the bike fraternity including outlaw motorcycle gangs.”
Most of these bikes are stolen for rebirthing or for parts on the black market.
Protecting your bike:
Get comprehensive motorcycle insurance from a respected provider.
Use the steering lock if your bike has one and/or get some sort of brake lock. Bikes can still be picked up, so consider chaining it to an immovable object.
Pull out a spark plug or fuse, or have an immobiliser fitted.
Don’t park your bike in railway or shopping centre carparks as these are notorious for theft.
Park in a locked carpark. If you have to park in the open, leave it where you can see your bike or in view of a security camera.
If parking in a garage, block the bike with a car and ensure the garage is locked.
When riding home, make sure you are not being followed.
Stay alert for suspicious vans or trucks driving around late at night. These are used to transport stolen motorcycles.
Put a cover over your bike. It might slow down thieves and prevent theft of accessories.