Jacksonville Motorcycle Thefts More Than Double; Police Lay Out Theft-Prevention Tips

Jul 30, 2018

The number of motorcycles stolen in Jacksonville has more than doubled compared to what it was at the same time last year.

Fifty-four motorcycles were stolen in July 2017 compared to 137 so far this month.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said most of the motorcycles are being stolen because they are out in the open – in a driveway or at an apartment complex.

But for motorcycle owners who don’t have a garage, there are ways to making stealing them more difficult.

It starts with parking in well-lit areas near security cameras. JSO recommends motorcyclists also use the following safeguards to protect their bikes from theft:

Lock it up

•Lock the ignition and use a fork lock to lock the steering. Most bikes come standard with fork locks. If you’re unsure about how to use yours, check your owner’s manual or go online.

•Use a disc lock. This is a device mounted onto the brake disc, with a pin going through either a cutaway space inside the disc or one of the small holes on the disc itself. The lock needs to be thick enough so it hits the fork tube or swing arm to prevent the motorcycle from being rolled away.

•Use a high quality lock with a cable or chain strung through the wheels or frame and secure the motorcycle to a fixed object that is difficult to defeat  – like a light post. A chain with a sleeve that protects against scratches and is designed to make it difficult to cut through is recommended.

•Lock multiple motorcycles together.

Extra steps

•Take the keys with you. Do not store the keys nearby.

•Block the motorcycle in with cars.

•Disable the motorcycle when parked, especially at night, by installing a kill switch or spring-loaded switch, which must be pressed along with the start button and ignition switch, in a hidden location, or remove the main fuse.

•Cover the motorcycle with a basic cover to conceal the model from “drive-by hunters” looking to steal a specific model.

•Install an alarm that is triggered when motion is sensed. The alarm should include a drain sensor which monitors the electrical system to detect when someone is trying to hot wire the motorcycle.

In the case a bike is stolen

•Install a GPS or other tracking device so that the police can quickly locate a stolen motorcycle and recover it while it’s still intact.

•Do not store the title in the motorcycle's storage compartment, tank bag, or saddle bag. Leave it at home in a secure location.

•Carry the motorcycle’s registration and insurance ID card on you.

•Take pictures of the motorcycle, especially of anything unique, and have it readily available to give to law enforcement for broadcast.

Photo used under Creative Commons.

Lindsey Kilbride can be reached at lkilbride@wjct.org, 904-358-6359 or on Twitter at@lindskilbride.