Are stolen bikes ever recovered?

In South Africa, it is estimated that more than 100 000 bicycles are stolen every year. The average recovery rate for stolen bicycles is less than 5 percent, and stolen bicycles are often sold within hours of being stolen.

Retrieval is virtually impossible after the bicycle has left the thief’s possession.

So why are existing solutions ineffective?

Our years of research shows that companies and individuals embarking on a tech journey underestimate the needs of such a project. They are almost always underfunded, and make too many assumptions about how ‘easy’ such a project will be. It is not.

So what are the issues when a bicycle is retrieved?

In the rare cases where a bicycle is retrieved, identifying the owner is often difficult, because of alteration of appearance, and a lack of serial numbers linking to the bicycle to the owner.

Another compounding factor, is that a significant percentage of thefts are simply not reported because of the problems listed above.