In times like these, you can do good business with e-bikes: this applies not only to the countless dealers in the country, but unfortunately also to criminals who are increasingly targeting electric two-wheelers. Reports of theft come in every day, recently in Tyrol, for example. The damage is enormous – experts give useful prevention tips.
At the end of July in Bichlbach in the Ausserfern region of Tyrol: unknown perpetrators broke into a specialist shop and stole almost 40 e-mountain bikes worth several hundred thousand euros. The detectives of the National Criminal Investigation Department assume that a professional gang is behind the coup.
St. Ulrich am Pillersee in the Tiroler Unterland: In the night of Sunday, unknown perpetrators gained access to a garage and stole an e-bike. The damage: several thousand euros. Similar coups took place over the weekend in the Ötztal in Umhausen and Sölden. The list of coups can go on and on…
Austrians spend a lot on e-bikes
E-bikes are currently experiencing a real boom in Austria. There are reportedly about 900,000 electric bicycles across the country. And for that, Mr. and Mrs. Austrians dig deep into their pockets. “According to data from the Association of Sporting Goods Manufacturers and Sports Equipment Suppliers in Austria, the average sales price of an e-bike in 2021 was around 3,400 euros. By way of comparison, a non-motorized bicycle costs about 1300 euros on average,” the Road Safety Board (KFV) recently reported.
93,000 Austrians victims of theft
The flip side of the boom: High-end, sometimes insanely expensive e-bikes also attract criminals. This year alone – in the period from January to April – 500 electric bicycles were stolen in Austria. According to a study by the KFV (extrapolation), about 93,000 Austrians have already been victims of an e-bike theft.
And where do bicycle thieves usually strike? “More than 50 percent of reported crime scenes are not open to the public. In addition, the perpetrators are actively looking for expensive devices that can be quickly and easily reused,” said Peter Seidl, deputy director of general crime at the Federal Criminal Police Office.
KFV tips to protect your bike
- The right lock: Buy good, strong locks and always put the frame and front or rear wheel together on an object such as a bicycle rack. Always take the batteries and easily removable parts such as lamps with you and store them separately from the bicycle. Important: If you park your bike indoors, make sure the spaces are locked and also secure it to a firmly anchored object.
- Anti-theft protection with GPS tracking: GPS trackers are hidden transmitters on the bicycle that warn the owner if the parked bicycle is moved. In addition, they continuously transmit the current location of the bicycle.
- The secure car park: If possible, use high-quality bicycle sheds. Avoid using rim holders, fences, posts or road signs.
- The right place: In public areas and especially at train stations, never park your vehicle after dark in a poorly visible and poorly lit area. Avoid parking lots where there are more damaged and incomplete vehicles.
- Always secured: Never leave your vehicle unattended.
- In case of theft: Immediately report to the police!
I am Ida Scott, a journalist and content author with a passion for uncovering the truth. I have been writing professionally for Today Times Live since 2020 and specialize in political news. My career began when I was just 17; I had already developed a knack for research and an eye for detail which made me stand out from my peers.