Metal thieves target motorbikes

Motorbikes have become the latest target for metal thieves who are taking them off the streets purely for their scrap value.

Apr 26, 2012
By Paul Jacques

Motorbikes have become the latest target for metal thieves who are taking them off the streets purely for their scrap value.

SmartWater Technology’s chief executive, Phil Cleary, highlighted the problem after the company’s investigators began finding more and more motorcycle parts appearing in scrap metal dealers’ yards.

He warned that opportunist thieves were not interested in what kind of bike they were stealing, only that they could sell it for around £50, often to fund a drug habit.

Even motorbikes that do not normally interest motorcycle thieves, due to their age or rarity, are becoming a target, because the criminal is interested only in the value of the metal they contain.

The problem has escalated to such a point that the weekly newspaper of UK biking, Motorcycle News, has called on manufacturers

to apply SmartWater as part of the production process, which would allow even individual parts to be identified if stolen.

The appearance of motorcycle parts in scrap yards has become noticeable because, previously, they would be more likely to have gone to specialist motorcycle salvage agents who would, legitimately, re-sell them.

Mr Cleary, himself a former police officer, added: “My guys, when they are doing their visits with police around the country, are seeing motorcycle parts in the yards, but identification is an issue. That could be neatly addressed in the factory, essentially shutting this down as an opportunistic crime.”

Police forces across the UK are now routinely equipped with ultraviolet lights, both hand-held and installed in police stations, allowing them to quickly check for the presence of SmartWater.

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