In recent months owners of @Brompton folding bicycles have become the latest target of violent street crime. There have been several reports of armed gangs attacking owners on busy streets in daylight to steal their bikes. London has the most bicycle thefts.
The most stolen bike brand is Specialized, with 7 of its models featuring in the top 10 most commonly stolen bikes alongside brands like Brompton, Ridgeback and Carrera. According to Bike Register approx. 232,000 bikes were stolen in 2021.
It fair to say bike theft is fairly common with thieves stealing locked bikes in public places, but recently a more aggressive breed of criminal is operating targeting and attacking cyclists on sought after brands.
The general criminal modus-operandi (MO) appears to involve several masked criminals operating in a team (4-5) who follow a cyclist on a moped, then accelerate past and block the cyclist before physically forcing the rider off the bike and stealing it. Where the owner has resisted violence has been used and some have been threatened with knives. Another tactic is for criminals to target quieter cycle lanes/routes and ambush an unexpecting cyclist.
Although it’s very unlikely you will fall victim to ‘bike-jacking’ and VALKYRIE (GB) LIMITED would always advise against violent resistance to an attack there are a few basic precautions you can take:
· Plan and vary your cycle routes and if possible ride with a fellow cyclist. Try to stay in busy areas. Pay close attention to any suspicious mopeds
· Make sure your bike is insured
· Report a theft to the Police
· Register your frame number on a cycle database such as ‘BikeRegister’.
· Consider fitting a small location tracker to you bike
· Consider carrying a personal attack alarm