Stolen bikes are sold on close to home, Amsterdam report shows
Bicycles which are stolen in Amsterdam are almost always sold on close to the scene of the crime, according to a new report carried out on behalf of the city council.
Researchers from the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions (AMS) locked up 100 bikes valued at €90 to €350 at places police said were popular for bike thieves, using a simple lock.
All the bikes were fitted with a GPS tracking system allowing them to be followed.
Within six months, 70 of the bikes had been stolen, but only two were moved outside the Amsterdam area and none went abroad, the researchers say.
Stolen bikes were also being used again within two hours of being taken and 30% had been nicked by organised gangs or experienced lone operators. One in six was sold on via street dealers at popular locations such as the Waterlooplein, the entrance to the Vondelpark or near the Rijksmuseum.
The council has no plans to do much with the report’s findings because bike thefts are not a priority with city officials, the police or public prosecution department, the Parool reported transport chief Melanie van der Horst as saying.
However, providing more bike racks is a priority, she said. Over 10,000 bikes are reported stolen in the Dutch capital every year, but according to some estimates, the real total could be nearly 80,000.
Every year the city itself removes 75,000 bikes which have either been left in the wrong place or which appear to have been abandoned and takes them to a special storage area in the western port area.
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