About Bike Theft >The Problem >
Who Steals Bikes
Young men below the age of 20…their reasons are varied and include:
• Joy-riding - those who steal any type of bicycle for transportation purposes and/or enjoyment. These offenders generally abandon the stolen bicycle after use. Younger offenders (16 and under) typically fit this group (Challinger 1986; Loder and Bayly Ltd 1986 ; and Sokol 1992).
• Bike freaks – better known as bicycle focused offenders - those who steal specific types of bicycles and/or large numbers of bicycles to order (Nuttal 2001).
• Acquisitive kids / criminals - those who exploit easy opportunities to steal anything, including any type of bicycle, and exchange it for cash or other goods (such as drugs).
• Drug Addicts - of any age, who are opportunistic and need a fix and in UK are found to sell bikes for cash to buy drugs (Van Kesteren and Homburg, 1995).
To understand who commits bike theft and why, the following information can help inform design and police interventions.