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Motorcycle thieves don’t steal big bikes

... Motorbike thefts up in 1st 6 months of 2014
/ 03:30 AM August 20, 2014

MANILA, Philippines–While motorcycle thefts are on the rise, a particular type of motorcycle is safe—so far—from the scheming eyes of thieves: the pricey big bike.

Despite being more expensive, big bikes are often ignored by criminals because it would be harder to look for buyers of whole big bikes, or even its spare parts.

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“There is no wide market for big bikes. Motorcycles are very common to ordinary folk but not big bikes,” Chief Supt. Arrazad Subong of the Philippine National Police’s Highway Patrol Group (HPG) said in an interview on Tuesday.

Big bikes are motorcycles with engine displacements of 400 cc and above. An ordinary motorcycle usually has a displacement of 100 cc.

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Data from the HPG showed that motorcycle thefts doubled in the first half of 2014 compared to the same period last year.

Big bikes spared

Incidents of stolen motorcycles went up from 1,578 in the first six months of 2013, to 2,866 in the same period this year.

Subong said big bikes usually were not stolen despite the same risks faced by thieves going after an ordinary motorcycle or a customized big bike.

“It’s too expensive. Besides, it’s easily recognizable,” Subong said. “There are few big bikes here compared to ordinary motorcycles. Also, owners of big bikes take care of them well so there is no high demand for spare parts.”

The HPG chief stressed that since there was no wide market for big bikes, thieves wouldn’t think of stealing them since their profit was unsure.

Harder to hide

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“The suspect would consider if there’s a market for the vehicle he’s eyeing. Will he make a profit immediately? Those are the factors. Besides, it’s harder to hide because it’s easily recognizable,” Subong said.

Based on HPG statistics, incidents of vehicle theft doubled in the first six months of 2014 compared to the same period last year.

The increase was mainly due to the increasing number of cases of motorcyce thefts, Subong said.

There were 3,170 thefts of motor vehicles and motorcycles from January to June 2014. This means an almost 100-percent increase from the same period last year, when registered thefts numbered 1,881.

Of 3,170 cases this year, Subong said 304 involved motor vehicles while 2,866 involved motorcycles. In the same period in 2013, the number of motor vehicles stolen was 303 while the number of stolen motorycles  totaled 1,578.

April was lowest

“There was an average of 1.8 motor vehicles stolen daily during the first half of 2014, while an average of 15.7 motorcycles were stolen. In 2013, the daily average was 1.5 motor vehicles and 10.1 motorcycles,” Subong said.

For 2014, January registered the highest number of stolen motor vehicles with 72, while April had the lowest number of incidents with 24.

For motorcycles, February had the highest number of incidents with 577 while April registered a low of 361.

HPG data also showed that motor vehicle thefts for the same six-month period registered 303 in 2013 and 304 this year.

Figures for 2013 showed the total number of stolen motor vehicles to be 574 while stolen motorcycles totaled 3,701.

Subong noted that figures for motor vehicles were much higher from 2000 to 2006, with the numbers usually totaling more than 1,000 each year.

He attributed the rise in motorcycle thefts to the fact that the two-wheeled vehicles were easier to steal and dispose of by selling them piece by piece.

Subong pointed out that 2014 was far from over and the figures might still change in the coming months.

“That can still change because 2014 is not yet over. We can still reduce that,” he said.

Like businessmen

The National Capital Region registered the highest number of motor vehicle thefts, with 189 in the first six months of 2013 and 172 in the same period in 2014.

Region 4A came in second with 61 stolen vehicles in the first six months of 2013 and 89 in the same period this year.

Particularly vulnerable to car thefts are brand-new vehicles with no license plates and only conduction stickers. Even older models are being targeted for spare parts, Subong said.

“Carjackers think like businessmen. They think of the market and demand for what they are stealing,” he said.

Originally posted: 5:53 pm | Tuesday, August 19th, 2014

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TAGS: Arrazad Subong, big bikes, car-jacking, Carnapping, Crime, Highway Patrol Group, motorcycle theft, News, Philippine National Police, theft
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