Electric bike theft surges in Switzerland (and lock tips)

Recently released Federal Statistics Office (FSO) figures show that the number of stolen electric bicycles in Switzerland is skyrocketing. In 2021, 8,919 electric bicycles were stolen in Switzerland. This is 47% more than in 2020.

© Rossislav Ageev |

At the same time, the number of regular bicycle thefts has decreased by 11%. This partially reflects the transition from regular bicycles to electric bicycles. In 2021, 27,246 regular bicycles were stolen in Switzerland, bringing the total number of bicycle thefts to 36,165, 2% less than in 2020. As the number of more expensive electric bikes grows, bike thieves seem to choose these over regular low-value bikes. thing.

The risk of bicycle theft varies greatly from state to state. The risk is highest in Basel, with 2.8% of bicycles stolen in 2021. Other stolen cantons include Baselland Shaft (1.7%), Solothurn (1.5%) and Lucerne (1.3%). The lowest risk cantons for bike owners were Valley (0.4%) and Ticino (0.2%).

Many bicycle keys are surprisingly easy to unlock. A video (below) compiled by the City of London Police shows how easy it is to unlock some locks. Cable locks provide virtually no protection. A pair of hand cutters that fit in your pocket will cut them in seconds. Inexpensive D-locks can be cut quickly with a larger bolt cutter. The best protection is a high quality D-lock that is thick and hard, but can be cut with an electric angle grinder if accessible. There are no locks that cannot be disconnected.

Tips for mitigating risk include choosing a high quality hard D-lock and placing it in the right place. Fixing the frame low in the back makes cutting much more difficult. Do not lock the top tube, which is much easier to cut. Place two high quality D-locks low. One passes through the back and rear wheels of the frame, and the other passes through the front and front wheels of the frame. Most thieves stop it.

Another video by Casey Neistat in New York (above) shows how ineffective witnesses are. After 9 minutes of polishing with a noisy electric angle grinder in a busy downtown location, nothing happened when he tried to steal his bike. Eventually, he was discovered by the New York Police Department, who intervened after countless witnesses passed by.

More about this:
FSO report (In French) – – Take the 5 minute French test now

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