More and more Williamsburg and Greenpoint residents are waking up to find their motorcycles missing. Their bikes are being stolen in the night, with no apparent clues left behind.
An analysis of reported motorcycle, moped and scooter thefts in the Greenpoint Gazette and The Brooklyn Paper from 2012 to the present, in the 90th and 94th precinct, shows that this crime appears to be up by as much as 65 percent. This area includes the Brooklyn neighborhoods of Williamsburg and Greenpoint, where parking spaces are quickly disappearing likely due to a growing population. In the most recent population estimate for New York City, Brooklyn led all other boroughs with the largest increase in population from 2010 to 2012.
Last year, area residents reported 30 thefts. As of Aug 11th of this year, north Brooklyn residents have already reported 29 stolen motorbikes. As of this time last year, only 19 motorcycles were reported stolen in this area. With four more months left in the year, that total is likely to surpass the previous year's total.
The motorcycle make most often stolen is a Yamaha. It is unknown if this is due to this particular make being more popular among bike owners, or if the thieves are purposely targeting this vehicle. Analysis of both last year and this year's theft numbers seem to show that they increase in the late summer months.
In one reported theft on Feb 28, 2013, an area security camera captured images of the victim's 2008 Honda Moped being loaded into a minivan near the intersection of North 8th Street and Berry Street. No other clues or witnesses have been noted in any of the other incidents this year.
To prevent theft, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation recommends motorcycle owners utilize the ignition lock, the fork lock and chain your bike to and immobile object. Most bikes are already equipped with an ignition and fork lock. A combination of a length of heavy chain snaked through the frame and a heavy duty lock is the best way to use this security tool. Heavy chains in any length can easily be purchased at most local hardware stores. Also worth investing in are disc locks to immobilize the wheels and a bike cover to make it that much more difficult for thieves to see the type of security being used.