Where do stolen bikes go?

Amsterdam is one of the most bike-friendly major cities in the world. That also means the city is a happy hunting ground for thieves, who steal tens of thousands of bikes per year — a substantial chunk of the estimated 850,000 or so that Amsterdam residents own. Which raises some questions. Where do all the stolen bikes go? Are they shipped elsewhere and sold? Tossed in canals? Or just reused in the city by other people?

Photo by cottonbro studio on Pexels.com

Now an MIT experiment, in collaboration with the Amsterdam Institute for Advanced Metropolitan Solutions, has found answers by equipping a fleet of Amsterdam bicycles with mobile trackers and following their whereabouts over time. It turns out that, at least in Amsterdam, the vast majority of stolen bikes remain in the local area. A substantial amount appear to get resold, meaning most simply keep circulating in the city’s bike fleet, one way or another.


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2 responses to “Where do stolen bikes go?

  1. So much depth & insight to this post! It’s a question that I have pondered before having been to Amsterdam and Denmark (another great biking city). I love how they took your question to the next level and turned it into an opportunity for new technology. Wishing you a happy month my friend! Biking in Ontario, Canada is definitely on my agenda. 🚲 ☀️ Andrea

    Liked by 1 person

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