E-bikes are increasingly popular with thieves, figures show

Some 22,593 people reported their e-bikes stolen last year, up 25% from 2020 and 75% from 2019, according to bike theft monitor SAFE said, based on police figures.

Most of the stolen bikes were parked on the street, but in 1,900 cases the thieves resorted to burglary or even took people’s bikes by force.

Reports of thefts of non-electric bikes fell by 45% to 26,365, according to the researchers. SAFE estimates the actual number of stolen bikes to be at least eight to nine times higher, saying many people may find reporting their regular bike stolen a waste of time.

E-bike owners report the theft because they are more likely to have insurance and need the police report to claim compensation.

The organization recommends the use of certified padlocks to secure bicycles and lock them up, including at home. It also helps to install tracking devices.

The problem is most acute in the four major cities with increases of 10% or more. Utrecht tops the list with the most reported thefts.

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