APD seeing increase in scooter, motorcycle thefts in West Campus

The Austin Police Department is seeing an increase in scooter and motorcycle thefts in West Campus, says the University of Texas at Austin Police Department.


UTPD recommends students follow safety tips from the APD Auto Theft Unit on how to prevent their scooters, bikes, and motorcycles from being stolen.


UTPD recommends students follow these safety tips from the APD Auto Theft Unit on how to prevent their scooters, bikes, and motorcycles from being stolen:


Use a disc lock to secure the front brake disc or a grip lock to secure the brake and throttle controls. A D lock can also be used on the front wheel to stop it from being wheeled away.


APD says thieves often steal a bike by breaking the steering lock and wheeling it away. Use a chain lock through the back wheel because the front wheel can be removed. Secure your bike with the lock taut to an immovable object such as a ground anchor or street furniture.

APD says this will stop thieves from cutting a lock trailing on the ground using an angle grinder. If this isn’t possible, owners can thread the chain through the bike frame and back wheel.

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Thieves often "shop" for particular bike models, according to APD. Using a cover instantly makes it less attractive to them. A cover also provides another time-consuming obstacle for the thief.

Remove the keys

Thieves are often opportunists and so they will look for bikes that are quick and easy to steal first, says APD. Always use the steering lock and remove the ignition keys, even if you are close by or away for a few minutes. It only takes a few seconds for a thief, so don’t make it easy for them. Never rely on just using your steering lock to secure your bike as thieves can break the steering lock and simply wheel the bike away.

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Fitting an alarm can be a deterrent to thieves, says APD. Consider fitting an alarm system with tracking, immobilization, anti-grab, and movement sensors to help protect and trace your vehicle. This could also reduce your insurance premiums.

Property mark the part

Marking as much of your bike as possible will make it more difficult for criminals to sell parts, and therefore less attractive to steal, according to APD. It will also help police identify parts and return recovered stolen bikes or scooters.

There is a range of bike marking providers that you can use. When at home the best place to keep your motorcycle, moped, or scooter is in your garage or shed. Garage and shed alarms as well as low-level dusk-to-dawn lighting will also enhance security. Fitting a ground anchor also provides extra security. Install video surveillance systems. Motorcycle lockers are also available to store your bike at home.

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If you don't have a shed or garage, APD advises to park in the safest place you can. Park it in an area near to your home where it’s well overlooked with good lighting. Try to park in an area that has good video surveillance or install a good video surveillance system.

Anyone with any information about recent thefts can call APD at 311. Anyone who sees a crime in progress is asked to call 911.