Reports for 2018 will be released later this year, but in 2017 alone, a total of 44,268 motorcycles were reported stolen in the US. Reports of a lost motorbike occur more frequently in the warmer months, where July and August had the most motorcycle thefts. December, on the other hand, had the least frequent thefts.
The top 10 states with the most reported motorcycles thefts in 2017 were California (7,532), Florida (4,323), Texas (3,525), South Carolina (1,732), North Carolina (1,632), New York (1,547), Missouri (1,409), Georgia (1,235), Indiana (1,204), and Arizona (1,057).
Are you unfortunately part of the numbers? Here’s what you should immediately do to find a lost motorbike.
Finding Your Lost Motorbike
The average time thieves would spend on stealing a bike is thirty seconds. The most they would dare spend is a couple of minutes. Here is the order of events carried out during a theft:
- The ignition is set up first.
- Safety equipment is removed (disk lock, chain, etc.).
- Steering lock is snapped.
- Ignition is plugged, and bike is started.
- The bike is taken out of sight and checked for GPS devices.
Take note of this and secure your bike better next time. A combination of security systems that look tedious to break will be the best solution.
Scout the area.
Sometimes, the bike might be left someplace else in the neighborhood, covered and locked up. Or your neighbors might have interrupted the thieves themselves and have no idea whose owner the lost motorbike is. In case your motorbike goes missing, make sure you scout the area for any covered bikes first. You’d be wasting your day reporting to the police if you find your lost motorbike resting on its side just around the corner all because you didn’t check the area yet.
Other times, motorbike owners just forgot where they parked it. Ask bicycle park staff or campus police if they towed your lost motorbike.
Have your neighbors seen anything? Does the store across the street have security footage? What about the nearby shed or garden or traffic light? With clear images or videos of the bike thief and the escape route they were heading to, the chances of finding your lost motorbike would increase greatly.
Now’s also the time to collect things like photos of your bike (always good to have a clear one around of the bike in its current state), registration, and insurance documents.
Report it to the police.
Dial the non-emergency number and inform them you need to report a stolen or lost motorbike. The police won’t secure the return of a single motorcycle, but the police report enables you to file an insurance claim. Upon reporting through their hotline, they may visit your house or location of the theft to complete the report or simply request that you visit the police station. Prepare all your necessary motorbike documents by then.
Register the lost motorbike to the Bike Index.
If you motorbike was stolen from school campus, your apartment garage, or your work premises, register your motorbike to the Bike Index with its serial number at once. The bike registry is a workable way to stop bike theft. It is a useful method to recover lost motorbikes. Even though you didn’t register your bike before it got stolen, you can still do it now.
It is extremely important to register valuable bikes such as scooters, racing bikes, and electric specialty bikes. The benefit is that if a police finds your stolen bike, they can search the list and give your bike to you. For only $0.99, the National Bike Registry adds your lost motorbike to the database for 6 months.
Notify your insurance company.
Take time to reread your insurance policy before you call the company so you know where you stand. Once you’ve made the call, expect the company to investigate the claim and get ready to wait for sometime before a payout is made.
Almost everyone is on the internet. Post on social media, Craigslist, eBay, and more and include identifying details and pictures on your account, groups, or pages like local riding clubs. It may sound unlikely that these methods could result in your bike being found, but motorcycling is such a tight-knit community that it does happen with surprising frequency. You can even set up Google alerts with the information matching your lost motorbike. If your stolen motorcycle turns out on sale on the internet, you’ll receive the instant alerts.
Check used bike shops and flea markets.
These hot spots are actually huge collections of stolen bikes and parts. You can find almost anything there: from off-road bikes, ATVs, push bikes, and mountain bikes to dirt bikes and scooters. If you do find your lost motorbike, don’t confront the seller directly! Call the cops instead so they’ll tell you what to do next. If you don’t see your bike, you might want to call all the used bike shops in the area and give them a picture of your lost motorbike. They are usually on the lookout because they’re not supposed to accept stolen property.
Don’t Lose Your Motorcycle Again
If someone already tried stealing your bike and failed, they will be back for it. The best way to prevent this dilemma from happening again is by securing it properly before leaving it and by investing in a GPS tracker.