We were recently contacted by Berlin resident Zack to inform us of the attempted theft of his bike. Luckily his bike was secured with his Litelok, which the thieves didn't manage to cut through.
Zack had secured his bike outside the back of his building complex overnight and when he approached it the following morning, he could clearly see that thieves had attempted to steal it. He is unsure how long the thief had been trying to break his Litelok, nobody else in the building had seen or heard anything, and with it being the middle of the night and away from a busy area, the thief would have had plenty of undisturbed time.
Zack's Litelok Gold after an attempted theft
Berlin Bike Theft Statistics
Berlin has more than 3m residents, and in 2010 it was estimated that there were 500,000 daily bike riders, accounting for 13% of total traffic. The city is frequently praised for its cycling infrastructure.
Sadly within the last 10 years, reported cases of bike theft have drastically risen, with almost 100 bikes being reported stolen each day on average in 2017.
The chart below shows the number of reported bike thefts between 2007 and 2017 in Berlin, clearly demonstrating an upward trend.
It’s important to note that these figures only represent bike thefts that are reported to the police, and as many bike thefts go unreported the true level of bike crime is probably much larger.
Also, it’s likely that the upward trend in reported bike thefts indicate that the true level of bike crime has been increasing over that period.
Trends - National vs Local
Looking at the same period on a national level, it’s clear that there has been a downward trend in reported bike thefts in Germany, as shown in the graph below.
It’s curious that Berlin has seen an upward trend in bike theft over the years while Germany overall has experienced the opposite.
Let us know what you think
What is the main driver behind bike theft, why is it so prevalent? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below