Moped Theft Prevention

By | July 27, 2016

The following information on preventing moped theft was recently released from the Charleston Police Department’s Crime Prevention Unit:

Mopeds are being stolen at an alarming pace in the low-country. Here are some tips to prevent you from becoming the next victim.


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  1. Hide or disguise it.

The less your moped/scooter is seen, the less likely a thief will notice it. If you don’t have a

garage, keep it covered. Not knowing what’s underneath makes it harder to assess the

difficulty of stealing it, or even to know if it’s even a bike they want. In motorcycle terms, by

putting a BMW cover on your Harley, you can also create the impression that it is a bike that is

less likely to be stolen than what it actually is.


  1. First lock to ALWAYS use.

Although readily defeated, your bike’s steering lock can be a first-step defense and will

discourage easy maneuvering of the bike. It is even more useful if your ignition and steering

locks are separate, so the thief needs to defeat two locks to escape with your scooter. Many

local mopeds have been stolen because they ONLY used an ignition lock (see next item).


  1. Add some more Locks

It’s best to use two or more locks of different types in addition to your bike’s built-in lock(s).

Unless a thief has conducted surveillance on your bike, he probably won’t be prepared to

tackle different kinds of locks. And if one of them anchors the bike to something immovable, a

gang won’t be able to carry it to a truck. (remember though, it is unlawful to attach to a Bike Rack,

fence, parking meter, or utility pole downtown)


  1. Keep It Up

Whatever lock you use; don’t rest it on the ground where the thief is more likely to be able to

get enough leverage to break it. If you attach to lock up and away from the ground, the thief

probably won’t get that extra leverage to pry the lock. The lock should be attached through

the frame, or less desirably through the forks or wheel.


  1. Lock It Down

A disc lock might inconvenience joy-riders, but determined thieves can simply hoist such a bike

into a waiting truck. If you add a cable to it and anchor that to something solid, you have a

more formidable obstacle. Even bikes inside garages should be securely locked.


  1. Don’t be Cheap

Go for the good stuff when shopping for security: Alarmed disc locks, U-locks of hardened

steel and asymmetrical chains (5/8 inches or greater) all rate highly.


  1. Get Sneaky – Additional electronic prevention

If you’re really determined to foil the bad guys, wire up a kill-switch or spring-loaded switch

that must be held down when the start button is depressed. Some riders have foiled

attempted thefts by simply removing the main fuse when they parked their bikes.


  1. Keep them from using Duplicate Keys

Make a record of your key numbers, and then file them off the locks if

they’re stamped on. Anyone with that number can have a key cut to fit.


  1. Park in lit areas

If you park outside; choose a well-lit, conspicuous area. If you can’t lock your bike to

something solid and stationary, try another bike (preferably not one belonging to a stranger).

Even plastering your bike with “Alarm Installed” stickers could discourage thieves.


  1. Make Some Noise

Alarms may attract attention to the fact that someone is attempting

to steal your bike. Try additional noise makers at home (ex: a large stack of glass bottles with a trip wire

makes a sound that everyone will investigate when it gets tipped over.)


  1. Watch Your Back

Professional thieves often find the bikes they want to steal (probably because they have

orders for them) by following them to where they are parked during the day or night. Then

they size up the situation and come back with what they need to steal the motorcycle. So, as

you approach your destination, especially if it’s your home, watch your mirrors for several

blocks. If someone seems to be following you, try to lose them, pull over and let them pass

(leaving an escape route in case they are bike-jackers), make a U-turn, or go around the block.

Anyone who continues to follow you is probably trouble. Don’t go home or into your company

or school parking lot until you have shaken them off.


  1. Remove it Or Lose It

Last but not least, remember to remove your cable, disc or U-lock

before riding away.


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