Thousands of bicycles are stolen in large cities around the world every single day. Rather than chase petty thieves who steal bicycles, UK police have devised another plan. British police are now placing “bait bikes” at various points throughout Cambridge and London. These bikes are equipped with GPS trackers, and they have led police to many sought-after thieves.
As soon as word about the new bait bikes got out, British police reported that bicycle thefts at a Cambridge railway station dropped by 45% — a very impressive number. Previously, police had no choice but to arrest anyone who was seen stealing a bicycle. Frequently, this meant arresting teens and small time thieves who usually work for larger crooks or for gang members. With the help of the new bait bikes, police can wait until a bicycle reaches its final destination before arresting anyone.
While the bait bikes have cyclists all over England cheering, some people are not behind the bait bike idea. Various UK residents have stated that the new bait bike program is a form of entrapment, while others claim that some bicycles are stolen entirely by accident. Even though police have listened to these complaints, the number of criminals who have been captured by police thanks to bait bikes far outweighs concerned citizens.
In the UK, a stolen bicycle can be easily sold to those seeking an inexpensive mode of transportation. While some bicycles are recovered, most stolen bikes are never seen again. There’s no debating the fact that bait bikes work, though UK police are not able to place these bicycles in every single area. Thus, the best way to prevent a bicycle from being stolen is to install a private GPS tracking device. By tracking a bicycle, authorities can easily recover any stolen bike.
(Article written by Hariette Halepis based on Wired June 30, 2010.)