Oddly Enough

Curbing bike theft with thievery lessons?

A cyclist rides along a bicycle lane in Beijing November 19, 2007. REUTERS/Claro Cortes IV

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch cyclists lobby group plans to teach more people across the country how to steal bikes after lessons it conducted in the big cities showed that bike owners became more security-conscious after taking the lessons.

“Someone specialized in locks shows people how to unpick them. This teaches people how to better secure their bikes,” a spokeswoman for Dutch bike group Fietsersbond said on Wednesday.

About 700,000 bikes were stolen in the Netherlands last year, home to 18 million bikes. Bikes are the most common form of transport in the Netherlands.

Fietserbond will tour the country, offering its bike theft lessons which has so far helped students moving to the cities like Amsterdam and who usually poorly secure their bikes, the group’s spokeswoman said.

“If freshmen move to the city with their bikes, it is a party for bike thieves,” she said.

The government launched a campaign on Wednesday, urging people to report bike theft to the police and make a note of their bike’s identity number.

Reporting by Gilbert Kreijger