Bike Theft in Holland Becomes Export Business
AMSTERDAM, the Netherlands – The bicycle capital of the world has always been notorious for its bike theft. The implementation of the anti-theft chip in newly sold bicycles in the past decade in combination with a stringent police control makes selling stolen bikes very difficult.
As a result, bicycles stolen in the Netherlands are nowadays exported in large volumes to Belgium, Germany and even Spain. The export is so lucrative that is has become gang business.
“We are forceless against these gangs”, said Mojgan Yavari, spokesman of the Dutch ‘Centre for bicycles theft’, a cooperation between the Public Prosecutor, the national police, the retailer’s organization BOVAG, the consumer’s organization ANWB and the National Road Traffic organization.
Many stolen bicycles are shipped abroad immediately as police control in Holland is so strict that traders and buyers can easily be caught when selling or buying a stolen bike. The Centre for bicycles theft is pleading for a European policy to fight bicycle theft.
According to spokesman Yavari, the number of stolen bicycles in the Netherlands continues to decline. In 2008, some 735,000 bikes were stolen and only 450,000 in 2011. The fight against bicycle theft is impeded by the lack of frame numbers. In general, Dutch made bicycles of brands like Batavus, Gazelle, Sparta and Union all have a unique frame number, while this doesn’t count for all imported bicycles.