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Bikes Worth 175000 Stolen As Thieves Use GPS

Article by: rob brady
Date: 12 Mar 2013

Staffordshire police force has initiated an operation to clamp down on robbery after bikes with a collective value of almost 175,000 have been stolen in just four months.

It's been reported that more than 370 high-value bicycles, worth an average of 468 each, have been stolen using GPS technology that is accurate enough to allow thieves to identify and then target precise houses.

Cyclists who use mobile phone apps and websites to track and share their rides are being warned to be especially vigilant against this form of attack.

Following an increase in the number of high-performance bicycles stolen from sheds and outbuildings, Staffordshire Police have called for cyclists to check their privacy settings on smartphone apps and websites.

"Our investigations have shown that some of the victims had been using websites and mobile phone apps to log their routes - these sites allow users to view each other's routes and track their rides," Sgt Dave Morris commented before explaining the data can be so accurate that it allows the individual's house to be pinpointed.

He added that some riders were sharing their routes on Twitter and Facebook, "advertising" the location of their bikes even more.

Whilst this story emphasises the dangers of GPS technology when it comes to theft, there are instances when the navigational software can have the opposite effect. A story from last October detailed how police forces in Leeds fitted GPS trackers to valuable gadgets to catch robbers red-handed; fighting crime rather than facilitating it.


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Posted by MaFt on Tue Mar 12, 2013 8:19 pm Reply with quote

Interesting. I've used sites like that a few times usually for tracking walks etc but never considered the security side of it. Perhaps because of the way I use them (logging flights that are miles away from home and not right to my door).

It makes a change that the thieving scum are getting a bit more tech-savvy...


Posted by Kremmen on Wed Mar 13, 2013 6:28 am Reply with quote

I allow Latitude/Backitude to track me. I suppose they can tell car from bike by the timeline.

In my case I use it so if I get held up anywhere (M25 usually) she can see where I am.

Garmin DS61 LMT-D (In the car)
Garmin 2599 LMT-D (Indoor test rig)
Viofo A119 V3

Posted by spook51 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 12:38 pm Reply with quote

Some people seem to be incredibly careless when it comes to revealing their movements on the internet. I have a friend who is happy to broadcast on Facebook that she is cruising the Caribbean. She may as well hang a sign on her front door: 'On holiday, back in two weeks, help yourself!'

Posted by Guivre46 on Wed Mar 13, 2013 1:13 pm Reply with quote

It all seems perfect for arranging a Police 'Sting' operation.

Mike R [aka Wyvern46]
Go 530T - unsupported
Go550 Live [not renewed]
Kia In-dash Tomtom

Posted by Kremmen on Wed Mar 13, 2013 3:29 pm Reply with quote

Latitude is one thing as it's semi anonymous if setup correctly but FaceBook where you are a real person is a dangerous place to advertise your whereabouts.

One of the reasons I don't do FaceBook (or Twitter).

Garmin DS61 LMT-D (In the car)
Garmin 2599 LMT-D (Indoor test rig)
Viofo A119 V3

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