Dublin thieves to be tricked by gardai into robbing bikes

Posted on: June 17th, 2015

Gardai have just begun to set traps for bike thieves in Dublin; tempting them into stealing bike.


With the number of bike thefts continuing to climb in the first five months of the year, the Garda has in recent weeks gotten serious about tackling the problem.

Teams of gardai have begun leaving bikes locked up around Dublin city centre. Surveillance operations have been placed at the scenes and when thieves have tried to rob the bikes, gardai have moved in to arrest them.

The new tactic has been dubbed “bike baiting”.

And aside from physically watching the bikes from afar in the hope an attempt will be made to rob them, other planted bikes are being fitted with GPS devices.

This will negate the need for surveillance and when the bikes are eventually stolen, gardai will use the GPS technology to track them and those who stole them or who are storing them.

Those responsible could face a variety of criminal charges, including theft and handling stolen property.

Bike baiting is taking place in Dublin city centre to begin with because one third of all bikes stolen in the Republic are taken from the inner city.

The move, which many argue is long overdue, was unveiled today at a Garda press conference to mark National Bike Week.

The number of arrests to date is below 10, but gardai say it will take time for the operation to be perfected and rolled out to sites all over the city.

Insp Liam Geraghty of the Garda’s Crime Prevention Unit said that in the first five months of this year a total of 2,100 bikes had been reported stolen nationwide, which was marginally higher than during the same period last year.

However, June, July and August have traditionally seen a spike in thefts.

In all of 2014, approximately 6,750 bikes were reported stolen around the country; up 227 per cent on 2008.

Insp Geraghty believed the higher number of valuable bikes in circulation since the bike to work scheme was introduced had made bike thefts more lucrative.

“Certainly since the bike to work scheme started in 2009 we have noticed a year on year increase,” he said.

“While there is no dramatic increase so far this year, we are definitely up again.

“So there is a definite increase between more bikes and better quality bikes being available out there, and bike thefts occurring.”

In recent years around 4,000 bikes had been recovered, approximately 2,500 of which had been auctioned because gardai could not determine who owned them, Insp Geraghty said.

“The only way we can positively identify a bike is by the serial number.”

It was essential that all bike owners kept a record of their serial number so it could be passed to the gardai in the event the bike was ever stolen.

If all serial numbers were recorded and all thefts were reported, the number of cycles recovered and reunited with their owners would exponentially increase, he explained.