Now You See It.
One of my favourite neighbours runs a film production company. He is also a motorcycle nut. 1200cc BMW ,his latest baby. Off he roars every morning. Except not this week. For the other day he was looking out of his office window and he saw four men in ski masks toying with his bike.
He ran down, they had jammed the front door of his mews office, he came round the back but they fought him off with an iron bar and roared off with the bike which was meant to have an “unbreakable” immobilising device.
He phoned the police and told of the tracking device. They tracked it down to an estate in Paddington. Thirty minutes after the crime they were on the estate and there they found the tracking device ripped off the bike. Which was gone, no doubt eventually shipped out in a container to some third world country where £20K bikes are all the rage. The robbers, probably stealing to order would at most get £5k.
My pal told me that BMW told him that their engineers take an hour to dismantle the tracking device. These robbers did it twenty minutes. The bad guys are winning. Now he faces the dilemma if he tells his insurance company he may get £20k but he will also get a prohibitive insurance.
Better security on bikes and anchors have cut motorbike theft from 115,000 a year in the 1980s to 24000 today. Half of those thefts take place in London and police reckon that it takes most robbers 20 seconds to do their dirty deed. London bikes are five times more likely to be stolen and parts of London are thirty times more vulnerable than provincial centres like Bath or Shrewsbury. The sad business of motorbike theft is reckoned to be worth £3m a month.