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Motorcycle Theft Statistics and Prevention


Motorcycles are the vehicle of choice for motorists who enjoy the freedom of the open road. While motorcycles get excellent gas mileage and are easy to maneuver – especially in traffic, they come with one huge downside: they’re easy to steal. A locked door is a deterrent for most car thieves, but motorcycles lack doors and even a novice can hop on one and ride off, never to be seen again.

Tens of thousands of motorcycles are stolen in the United States every year. Thefts are rising in Southern California, particularly in the city of Oceanside, located in San Diego County. Eleven motorcycles were stolen in June 2015, with apartment dwellers hit the hardest. Security is lax at some apartments, and poor lighting make it easy for thieves to steal these bikes.

Unfortunately, when a bike is stolen, it likely won’t be recovered. Many thieves bring along large trucks and take the bikes as far away as possible – even to other states and countries. They are often taken apart and sold. The most commonly stolen motorcycle brand is Honda, followed by Yamaha, Suzuki, Kawasaki and Harley-Davidson.

Oceanside is not the only area with a motorcycle theft problem. While California has the most thefts overall – there were more than 6,000 motorcycle thefts in 2012 – New York City had the most that year, with 903. There were 757 in Las Vegas and San Diego ranked third with 633 thefts. Florida and Texas also report a high number of motorcycle thefts. In all, 46,061 motorcycles were stolen in 2012, with most thefts occurring in the months of July and August.

The good news is that there are ways you can prevent motorcycle theft. Make sure your ignition is locked; simply turning it off isn’t enough to deter thieves. If possible, lock your motorcycle to a stationary object. Lock the wheels and steering mechanism. When riding in a group, park your bikes together. Keep your motorcycle in your garage or other secure place when not in use. A parking structure is also a good choice. You may also want to purchase an alarm and a recovery device in case your motorcycle ever is stolen. A hidden kill switch is another good idea. This stops the motorcycle should someone take off with it.

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