Theft of motorcycles is on the rise in the United States and the main attraction for thieves is that these two-wheelers are wonderful and quick getaway vehicles. California is on top of the list of stolen bikes for the second successive year.

What the statistics reveal

Los Angeles Times reports that as per data furnished by the National Insurance Crime Bureau in its annual theft report, the increase in theft of bikes in the United States is of the order of two percent in 2016. The statewide breakdown indicates California at No. 1 followed by Florida and Texas.

Others in the list were Los Angeles, New York, San Diego and Las Vegas. As far as counties are concerned, Los Angeles County was the topper.

An interesting observation of the NICB is that the majority of thefts took place during summer when there are more bikes on the roads. The number of thefts reported in August was nearly two times more when compared to thefts in the months of December and January. The pattern, however, varies from one region to another. In California, the warmer weather makes for yearlong riding and also for continuous stealing. Therefore, in this State, reports of thefts were evenly placed in all four quarters.

How many of these are recovered?

Based on an analysis of the reports it is revealed that some of the brands are a popular choice for the thieves and many of these are of Japanese origin.

Incidentally, stealing any vehicle is a crime and a study on other crimes related to the theft of motorcycles, would have been a subject worth exploring.

However, when the question of recovery of stolen vehicles comes, the situation is not too bright. In 2016, only around 18,000 out of more than 46,000 were returned to their owners but the NICB maintained silence on the physical condition of the bikes when they were returned.

As to recovery rates – this was higher than average in California with 42 percent of stolen bikes back with their owners, but in New York, the corresponding figure was far less - only 19 percent. The highest recovery rate was in Hawaii – more than 90 percent, probably because it is difficult to conceal a stolen bike on a small island.

One of the main reasons for stealing a motorbike could be to ensure a quick getaway after committing a crime. As they are two-wheelers, riders can escape speedily through narrow streets and when the rider wears a helmet, his face is covered and identification is not easy. These are the advantages that the thieves exploit.