Bike Jacking – a frightening crime that’s on the rise
You are probably familiar with the infamous Brazilian bike-jacking video from 2013 where a biker’s on-board camera films attackers pulling him over at gunpoint. Luckily for the biker, but no so lucky for the motorcycle thieves, a police officer happens to be passing by and guns down one of the assailants. One less motorcycle thief on the planet I guess …but a bit extreme.
Unfortunately, as you’ll see on this site, bike crime in general is a massive problem. More worryingly, the UK is seeing a rise in motorbike ‘jacking’ where lone bikers are losing their motorbikes to jackers. Bike jacking is getting popular with a certain type of thief (normally the ones wearing track pants instead of leathers!) whose method is to hunt in packs on stolen scooters.
The bottom line is that bike jacking is on the rise….and the motor biking community has got to become more vigilant.
So, what’s the expert advice …..is there really anything we can do?
These points may seem obvious but sometimes we need to be reminded of the basics;
(a) always be alert and aware of your surroundings and circumstances
(b) watch your positioning on the road in order to avoid ending up in vulnerable positions
(c) don’t make yourself an obvious target. Look like you are ‘serious’ on two wheels
(d) victims of bike-jacking must report it to the police, in order to increase the chances of recovery and reduce the number of future thefts
A more detailed approach
Norton Hawes, chairman of the London Advanced Motorcyclists, says: “The main advice is to yourself keep safe and to be very aware of what is going on around you both on the road and when parking up. Better the rider is safe and either loses or damages his/her bike rather than themselves.
One way that we’ve discussed is if threatened by bike jacking then lay the bike down, they usually wont stop to pick it up.”
A typical bike jacking scenario is that the thieves will attempt to create some sort of blockage or distraction. In a video (now withdrawn from YouTube), a biker spots an abandoned bicycle in the middle of the road. He does the right thing, dismounts & wanders up the carriageway in order to move it. Unfortunately he’s left the keys in the ignition and the thieves move instantly to steal the bike. In this situation, its obviously difficult to know how to act. One definite lesson is that if you leave the bike, for whatever reason, including refuelling, take the keys out and leave the bike with the steering lock on. Always.The extra 30 seconds it will take them to bust the steering lock could be the time that saves your bike.
The Fyrdraca Perspective
The most important words above are “Better the rider is safe and either loses or damages his/her bike rather than themselves.” Bike jackers have no motivation other than to steal your bike. They hunt in packs and they’re not slow to resort to violence if they think they’re going to be unsuccessful. It’s not worth getting physically assaulted or stabbed! Of course, if your bike is fitted with a Fyrdraca tracker you know you can watch them ride off into the sunset…..knowing that there’s an excellent chance that your bike will be recovered and, hopefully, the bike jackers identified and prosecuted.