Blog: New lows for criminal gangs

Dr Ken German
By Dr Ken German

Previously an officer in the Metropolitan Police Stolen Car Squad – part of the Flying Squad – Dr Ken German has a BA and PhD in international vehicle crime; he’s been key to many anti-theft policies and vital governmental and insurance decisions. He also developed the potential for transponders and parts marking, helping to create Datatag. Dr Ken is a world authority on motorcycle crime, and a key advisor to the industry...

Motorcycle crime expert Dr Ken German


Police have obtained information that school children are being used to spot desirable motorcycles and scooters.

Youngsters aged 11 to 13 years have been asked to call a mobile phone number by local thieves (usually not much older themselves) when they see a valuable bike stopped for even a few minutes.

Cash or some other reward is given to the youngsters, and a scooter with rider and pillion will appear shortly after to steal the motorcycle or follow the rider.

Thieves have been tracked via telephone numbers found on mobiles, so police are asking parents and guardians to check their children’s phones for unusual connections, and to ask where any new cash, watches, cameras etc. have come from.

Vehicle theft is estimated to increase by at least 20% by the end of the year, with the overall recovery rate expected to be around 45%. BikeSocial’s in-depth reviews of trackers could help you get yours back if you’re unlucky enough to be a victim

The theft of classic bikes and cars are showing a worrying trend, with thefts expected to be around 25% up on last year, and a poor recovery rate of 7% to 10%.

Organised crime has clearly been targeting high value classic machines, the demand for which is now huge around the globe, with evidence indicating that many buyers are unfortunately not asking too many questions about a vehicle or part’s true provenance.

Owners, collectors, auction houses and museums are advised to consider assisting police by using invisible identity marking and fitting tracking devices to both their cars and motorcycles. The majority of stolen classics that have been recovered were tracked, positively identified by their hidden markings and repatriated to their owners.

Classic vehicle theft investigation – like other more serious crimes – needs to be successful within the first 48 hours of the incident, as the opportunity to drive or ride them quickly into Europe – many prior to their theft being reported – or placing the vehicles in a shipping container, is still the criminal’s preferred option.


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