VIDEO | Met police 'Scooter Safe'
There barely seems to be a week that passes without news on Social Media about another poor soul who has lost their pride and joy to thieves. The scooter crimewave in London has prompted the Metropolitan Police to launch an anti-theft initiative called Scooter Safe.
It’s true that the classic Lambretta and Vespa is an appreciating scooter value wise and of course the savvy crooks are fully aware of this and thus the instances of theft are sadly, a regular thing. It doesn’t seem to just affect the classic scooter riders amongst us.
In London, large capacity Vespa autos seem to be the No.1 target for low life scumbags as their agility and speed assist them in carrying out further crime. If you’ve tried insuring a GTS, Tmax or Beverly 350 recently you’ll probably have noticed that your premiums are a lot higher in certain areas and that’s because they’re considered to be high risk scooters where theft is concerned.
Latest trends seem to suggest two common ways for thieves to strike are either whilst you are riding your scooter – this tends to be peculiar to larger cities where the thief wants your ride to commit other crime, ‘scooter-jacking’ if you will. The more common method and the one we should all be worried about, is when your scooter is parked and left unattended. In this feature we will look at the latter, giving you some ideas how to protect your scooter when you’re not there.
Regrettably, there seems to be no such thing. A very determined thief will do all that is possible take your scooter. In reality, all you can do is make life difficult and prolong the time and effort in taking your bike and using all the resources available to ensure the thief gets caught in the process, or moves on to an easier target.
Below is a short video from Oxford Products which gives you key ideas on how to confound the crooks.
SLUK’s Top 10 scooter anti-theft tips
- Fit more than one lock: If you fit a disc lock and a chain the thieves will probably move on to a softer target.
- Place your disc lock intelligently: most disc locks are removed with battery-powered angle grinders. If you place the lock where grinder access is difficult then you make it much harder to steal the scooter. On a Vespa GTS for instance it is possible to fit a tiny lock to the disc between the fork leg and the shock.
- Chain to a fixed object: Some council boroughs provide ground anchors in motorcycle bays so use them. Elsewhere, use a lamp-post, railing or a friend’s scooter to chain to.
- Keep your chain off the floor: Even if you can’t chain to a fixed object, try to keep the chain off the floor where it is more vulnerable to attack by hammer or bolt cutters.
- Use a bike cover: if they don’t know what model it is they are less likely to steal it.
- Park in different places: where possible this will make it more difficult for thieves on the prowl for vulnerable scooters.
- Fit an alarm: any noise will deter or hamper all but the most brazen thieves. A simple disc-lock alarm is an easy compromise with no need to modify the scooter. If you want to fit an alarm then even some cheap ones come with a remove engine stop facility useful if you are scooter-jacked.
- Fit a tracker: the No.1 best way to recover a stolen scooter and also to help the police catch the criminals. Win win.
- Mark your parts: A fair proportion of scooters, particularly classics from outside London, are stolen for parts. If you use a security marking system like Smartwater or Datatag then it’s possible to trace recovered parts. Security Marking stickers also deter thieves stealing for parts. Look out for police/council subsidised offers in your area.
- If you are followed: Don’t go to work or home where thieves can find out where your scooter is parked. Go to a busy place with lots of CCTV (e.g. petrol station) or a police station and wait until your ‘tail’ departs before continuing your journey.
Locks and anchors, avoid being a statistic
According to Oxford research*, 61% of motorcyclists do not use any form of lock to deter thieves from stealing their machine.
*London 2015, survey of 736 motorcycles and scooters
An easy way to avoid this is of course to lock or secure your scooter. Oxford have provided us with examples of the different security device you can use to keep your scooter safe.
ALPHA XD14: SUPER DISK LOCK
- Super strong motorcycle alarm disc lock with forged stainless steel construction
- Loud 110dB alarm siren/motion activated
- Powered by a long life lithium CR2 battery
- High tech pick-resistant locking system
- Price £54.99
BRUTE FORCE:GROUND ANCHOR
- Hardened steel bolt-down anchor for floors and walls
- All fixings supplied and free allen key
- Bolts protected by ball bearing and then covered when a lock is being used
- Price £22.99
DOCKING STATION:ULTIMATE WALL AND GROUND ANCHOR
- Combines the rigidity of an anchor with the flexibility of a chain
- Made entirely from forged hardened steel
- Uses the latest high security semi-elliptical key technology
- Price £99.99