Bike thieves are most likely to strike during the week in areas where people have gone to shop, according to research by the road users’ organisation ABWB.
Some 30% of people questioned for the survey said they had had a bike stolen while out shopping. The next most popular locations for bike thieves are railway stations (18%), residential areas (16%) and night life centres (16%).
In addition, 62% of thefts took place during the week and were spread equally over 24 hours.
The survey also showed that only around half of people who report their bike as stolen to the police know what make it is. And half of cyclists are also unaware that new bikes contain a chip that can be used to identify it.
In February, the Telegraaf reported that Belgium, Germany and even Spain are common destinations for bikes stolen in the Netherlands and that organised criminal gangs have taken over from junkies as the biggest thieves.
Nevertheless, efforts to reduce bike theft are paying off. In 2008, 735,000 bikes were reported stolen but by 2011 the total had fallen to 450,000, the Telegraaf said.
Police are currently experimenting with decoy bikes fitted with a track and trace system in an effort to catch thieves. One small experiment in Noord Brabant has already led to 96 arrests in six months.
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