Crackdown on e-bike thieves nails 139 in Baoshan
A crackdown on e-bike thieves in the third most populated Shanghai district has nailed 139 suspects in the first six months of this year, police said on Tuesday.
Baoshan District police said they solved 162 cases of e-bike and e-bike battery theft from January 1 to June 21 and busted four gangs which modified and resold the stolen e-bikes.
Due to their efforts, the number of theft reports was down 56 percent from the same period last year, according to the district's police.
During the crackdown, police stepped up patrols, especially on motorcycles since such vehicles are more versatile in areas not accessible to cars.
Based on crime data and other clues, police waged an intensive crackdown campaign in Dachang Town, where the main campus of Shanghai University is located, between May 26 and June 8. The tally was 27 suspects caught and 14 stolen e-bikes plus 13 stolen e-bike batteries seized.
Police vow to continue cracking down on e-bike thefts in the district of 2 million.
They said they have identified 103 e-bike shops, street stands and recyclers which are suspected of dealing with stolen e-bikes, 27 of which have been taken down since the beginning of this month.
Also, police said they will be keeping an eye on people with e-bike theft history since over half of e-bike thieves ever caught have committed the same crimes before.
E-bike thefts make good business for criminals who sell stolen e-bikes worth 3,000 to 4,000 yuan (US$460 to US$600) at around 1,000 yuan, police said.
Police warn that a lot of e-bike thefts take place around Metro stations. Some Metro passengers ride to and from the stations on e-bikes and park the bikes there during the day. Usually the parking lots are guarded only between 7am and 7pm.
Qin Jiaming, a police officer from Wusong Police Station and a commander of the campaign, said e-bikes thefts at such spots usually take place between 8pm and 9pm when parking lot guards have gone off work.
“It’s hard to make parking lot management firms stay vigilant 24/7 because, after all, the number of e-bikes left overnight at parking lots is not high,” he said.
But police won’t give up their effort to address rampant e-bike thefts in these locations.
Huang Fengqi, vice head of the district police’s public security squad, said they are working on a plan to add more surveillance cameras around Metro stations, especially those where e-bike thefts more frequently occur.