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Bait bikes help Dutch police snare almost 1,000 bike thieves in 2015

GPS tracking helps lead police to thieves - many of whom are repeat offenders

Police in the Netherlands say that 'bait bikes' fitted with GPS tracking devices have helped them catch nearly 1,000 bicycle thieves during 2015 - nearly twice as many as in the previous year.

According to dutchnews.nl police made 954 arrests of people who had taken one of the bikes, which are fitted with a GPS tracking device that is activated when moved.

That compares to 490 arrests in 2014 and 290 the year before that.

With 300,000 bicycles stolen in the country annually, bike theft is a major issue there.

Titus Visser of the AVc foundation, which aims to reduce vehicle related crime and is partnering with police in the initiative, described it as "a success."

He pointed out that many of those caught are repeat offenders, which in some cases has helped police recover other stolen bikes.

Currently, Dutch police deploy some 300 bikes with GPS trackers, parking them in busy locations, and more are on the way including, for the first time, electric bikes, which are increasingly being targeted by thieves.

While GPS trackers are also freely available on the consumer market, a spokesman for tge insurance company ENRA warned that "These can be hacked."

His advice? 

"The best form of prevention is a second lock, and securing your bike with a chain."

You can find road.cc's own tips for securing your bike by following the link below.

>> Bike security—how to stop bike thieves and protect your bike

Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.

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