LoJack Corp. says a recent study done with the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) reveals that most motorcyclists are at a high risk of having their bikes stolen.
More than 1,800 respondents participated in the 10-question Motorcycle Theft Prevention Fitness Test on the LoJack website during July and August. Of those, LoJack and the NICB found 67 percent of motorcycle owners who responded to the survey were at a high risk for theft because they are not taking necessary precautions, such as securing their bike to an immovable object when parked in a lot or garage and arming their bikes with theft deterrents (alarms, kill switches, etc.) and recovery systems.
The survey results come at a time when motorcycle theft rates are on the rise. According to the most recent figures by the NICB, 71,523 motorcycles were stolen in 2006. Motorcycle theft has risen 137 percent since 2000.
Earlier this month the NICB helped the Lee County Sheriff?s Office in Florida arrest 11 people in connection with a motorcycle theft ring responsible for the theft of 45 sport bikes worth more than $400,000.
Law enforcement says the group, operating in pairs, would rent a utility van and then cruise parking lots and neighborhoods in Southwest Florida where sport bikes might be unattended. The thieves would then literally pick up the motorcycle, put it in the van and drive off. A similar ring was busted in Arizona in 2006.
Florida investigators say the stolen motorcycles were taken to one of two chop shops — a home in Cape Coral or Altered Images, a motorcycle shop owned by one of the suspects — where the bikes were taken apart and the pieces sold.
To help make it harder for thieves to operate, LoJack and the NICB recently launched a joint education initiative called the Vehicle Theft Protection Program to help motorcyclists better understand how to protect their assets from theft. The two organizations developed a booklet entitled Get in the Know that details the steps owners can take to protect their bikes. The booklet is available on each organization's website.
To access the material from LoJack, see lojack.com/theftfacts.To access the information from the NICB website, go to ncib.org and click on "Theft & Fraud Awareness." Additional theft protection information is available on both sites.