A stolen motorcycle is every bike owner’s worst nightmare. Stepping outside and finding your motorcycle gone, or seeing a garage that’s been broken into is just a horrible feeling. As riders, we try to protect our motorcycles as best as we can. Unfortunately, theft may still happen, but the good news is, you might still be able to recover your stolen motorcycle. Regardless of whether you have a Monimoto tracker installed or not, knowing what to do in case of theft may increase your chances of recovering the stolen bike.
So what do you do if your motorcycle has been stolen? To help you navigate the situation, we’ve put together this comprehensive guide detailing the steps you should take if your bike is missing.
Motorcycle Theft: Enter Monimoto
If your motorcycle has been stolen but you have a Monimoto tracker installed, your chances of getting the bike back increase exponentially. The second your bike is moved, Monimoto will alert your phone. Once that happens, immediately call the police and inform them you can provide live GPS updates of your motorcycle’s location. Make it very clear that it’s possible to track the stolen motorcycle live. This is important, because the police may not always react immediately let alone send out a car: if there is no immediate threat to you and if the stolen bike is already gone, they may not be able to allocate resources to your case as a priority. However, if you tell them you can track the stolen vehicle live which would enable the police to actually catch the suspects, your chances of getting help increase significantly.
Once you have informed the police, wait for the car to arrive. If, however, they tell you they won’t be able to help you out, see if you could recover the stolen bike yourself. By no means should you confront the thieves or take any risks, but at the same time, the bike may actually be within a one-mile radius around the area where it was stolen. Countless success stories like this one tell us thieves often wheel the bike away and leave it nearby to gauge the situation and see if there is a tracker installed. Because Monimoto enables you to track the bike down, you can simply see if you can find it and retrieve it. Before you do anything, however, do consult with the police and follow their instructions.
If the police encourage you to go and try to retrieve your motorcycle, see if you could take a friend or a relative with you: heading out on your own might not be the best idea. You may need help to wheel the bike back or load it into a van or trailer if it has been damaged in any way, or you may simply need someone to accompany you for safety. If you can’t find anyone to come with you, make sure you stay in communication with the police officers and let them know what actions you’re taking.
Your Motorcycle Has Been Stolen, And You Have No Tracker
What should you do if your motorcycle was stolen, and you don’t have a tracker installed? First and foremost, you should call the police and see if they can help. Provide them with as many details as you can, and see if you can pinpoint the exact time your bike was stolen. If it’s only been minutes and the chances of tracking the thieves down remain good, the police may react quicker.
If, however, it’s been hours or even days, chances are, the police will not allocate as many resources to the case. You will be provided with an Incident Report Number, or Crime Number, and you’ll be able to periodically check if there’s been any progress. You will need to inform your insurance company, too, and give them the Incident Report Number. Keep in mind that once the insurance company registers the theft, your premiums might go up. Because of this, always see if you can recover the bike first.
Speaking of recovery: even if you don’t have a motorcycle tracker installed, what you can do is comb your local area. Again, thieves often simply push or ride the bike away and hide it nearby to see if anyone will come and get it. Stolen bikes are often left in alleyways, little side streets, abandoned parking spaces, and so on. Drive around your local area and see if you can find your stolen motorcycle yourself. If it has been thrown into a van or car trailer, it’s probably already far away. If the thieves simply pushed it away, on the other hand, you might still find it.
As you’re trying to find your stolen motorcycle, see if you can enlist some help. Talk to your neighbors: perhaps they’ve seen something suspicious? What about CCTV cameras – are there any in your area? If the motorcycle was stolen from the street, perhaps the local grocery store owner saw something suspicious, or has security cameras out front? It’s always worth asking around and checking if people saw anything or perhaps even recorded anything without even knowing.
When Your Bike Is Stolen: Calling the Police
Whether you have a tracker on your motorcycle or not, you’ll need to call the police if your bike has been stolen. If you’ve just realized your loyal steed is missing, the adrenaline rush and the sheer panic can mess with your ability to think clearly, so we have detailed a number of easy-to-follow steps to help you out.
Once you know that your motorcycle has been stolen, here’s what you need to do:
- dial 999 and report that the motorcycle has been stolen. Be very clear and concise and give the police as many details as you can. Tell them your bike’s registration, make, model, year, and color. Then, describe exactly when and where the bike was taken, and whether you or anyone else had seen anything suspicious before.
- if you have a Monimoto tracker installed, make it very clear to the police that it’s possible to track the stolen motorcycle live. This is extremely important: if the stolen bike can be tracked live, the police have a chance of catching the thieves. This, in turn, means they will react much quicker.
- once you report the theft, the police will then categorize the incident using “I” or “S” grade. “I” stands for “Immediate”, which means the police think the suspects are still out there and there is a good chance of catching them, so they will immediately send a car out. “S” stands for “Significant”, but, as it is not considered “immediate” and there is no direct danger to you, you will probably have to wait for them to respond.
- as soon as your report is categorized, the police will either send help to you or instruct you on further actions. Again, if you can track the motorcycle live, the chances of police helping you out immediately and potentially recover your motorcycle are very good.
- if the thieves aren’t caught and the bike isn’t recovered immediately, the police will issue an ANPR – automatic number plate recognition, which will enable them to spot a stolen vehicle anywhere in the country. Unfortunately, the first thing motorcycle thieves do is replace the number plate with an illegal one.
- if your motorcycle has been missing for several days and you want to check in with the police to see if there is any progress, call 101. As it is no longer an emergency, this is the number you should use.
If you have found your stolen bike thanks to a motorcycle tracker or the help of the police, well done. Make sure you keep the motorcycle extra safe from now on – thieves may sometimes target the same bike! – and enjoy the ride. However, if you weren’t able to recover the stolen motorcycle immediately after the theft, not all is lost. You may still be able to track it down and get it back.
Often, thieves will sell the stolen motorcycle locally, so make sure you set up alerts and notifications on all of the websites where used bikes are being advertised. Local motorcycle forums, eBay, Autotrader, Gumtree, your local papers – keep an eye out on all of them to see if perhaps you can spot your stolen bike. Equally, watch for parts ads: more often than not, motorcycle thieves strip the bikes down and sell them for spare parts. If you recognize your motorcycle’s parts being sold online, call the police and alert them.
Make sure you’ve added the details of your stolen motorcycle to websites like Is It Nicked?. In a way, sites like this act as a neighborhood watch tool. You never know – someone might spot your stolen bike and contact the police.
Finally, reach out to your local dealers, second-hand bike shops, and garages. Alert them about your stolen motorcycle and provide them with the bike’s details and VIN number. No reputable business wants to deal with stolen property, so if they have your information and someone tries to sell them your stolen bike or its parts, they’re likely to alert you or the police.
As you’re trying to find your stolen motorcycle online, make sure you reach out for community support, too. Get on local bike forums and sites and alert other users about your stolen motorcycle, detailing the make, model, year, and VIN number, and providing good quality photos of your bike. This way, if people spot your bike, they can alert you or the police and help you get the motorcycle back. Reach out to local riding clubs and riders’ groups and ask them to keep an eye out for your bike, too.
The next step is to make sure you join Facebook groups aimed at recovering stolen motorcycles. In addition to nationwide groups, join the local ones as well, such as the Stolen Motorcycle Recovery London. If you’re based in another area, simply type in “stolen motorcycle recovery” and the name of the town to find a local group.
Finally, keep an eye out on motorcycle-related Facebook and Instagram feeds. Unbelievably, thieves sometimes brag about their crimes on social media. Even more often, they try to sell the stolen bikes or their parts via social networks. Make sure you check in once in a while to see if perhaps your motorcycle is being “advertised” this way, too.
As you’re scouring the internet, don’t forget to post about your stolen motorcycle, too. There is a special place in hell for motorcycle thieves, and people are usually very sympathetic to riders who have lost their bikes to theft. Create a detailed post about your stolen bike on social media and ask people to share it far and wide. Include a detailed description of the motorcycle, a concise account of when and where it was stolen, add some photos and ask people to share your post as much as they can. Update the post often and watch the comments section: you never know what may happen.
What Happens Next?
Even if you try everything humanly possible to recover your stolen motorcycle, sometimes, it’s just not going to happen. Despite your efforts, as well as those of the community and the authorities, some stolen motorcycles are never recovered. It’s a sad statistic, but it’s a possibility you need to be prepared for.
However, if your stolen bike isn’t recovered, you’re likely to get a new one soon. That’s especially if you had decent insurance. Needless to say, shopping for a new motorcycle can be the best therapy after you had one stolen. However, keep in mind that if thieves stole one motorcycle, they may come back for the replacement, too. Make sure you double down on your new bike’s safety. Ideally, see if you can park it somewhere else, install a motorcycle tracker, and lock it up as best as you can. For more motorcycle safety tips, check out this blog post. For more inspiration about recovering stolen motorcycles, see Anna’s, Colin’s, and Tom’s success stories.
Have you ever had to deal with a situation where a motorcycle was stolen? Tell us your story in the comments below!