Fighting Bike Theft with GPS in Holland

When I lived in the Netherlands, I was told that it’s common to have your bike stolen about once a year. They make jokes like, “your bike lock needs to be more expensive than your bike.” Well, the Dutch police have a new tactic to help address rampant bike theft that might help to address all that — using GPS and bait bikes to catch bike thieves.

Police in Amersfoort, a city in the bicycle-crazy Netherlands plagued with high levels of bicycle theft, said Tuesday they are leaving out two-wheelers secretly equipped with trackers to catch thieves.

“Bicycle theft is a type of criminality that often goes unpunished,” police spokeswoman Cornelie Hogeveen said of the project in the central Dutch city, which had a population of 144,858 and 900 bicycle thefts in 2010 — 10 percent of the city’s total reported crimes.

In a six-month pilot project that started last December, so-called “bait bikes” are being placed in different spots around town, “sometimes locked and sometimes not,” said a police statement.

Read more on Bike Radar: Dutch fight bicycle theft with GPS.

Photo Credit: Zachary Shahan (me)

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Written by Zach

is the director of CleanTechnica, the most popular cleantech-focused website in the world, and Planetsave, a world-leading green and science news site. He has been covering green news of various sorts since 2008, and he has been especially focused on solar energy, electric vehicles, and wind energy since 2009.

Aside from his work on CleanTechnica and Planetsave, he's the founder and director of Solar Love, EV Obsession, and Bikocity.

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