Summer saw an uptick in bike thefts at a time when cycling has seen increased use with the warmer weather, and a larger proportion of the population staying in Estonia due to the coronavirus pandemic. Whereas in April, 30 bicycle thefts were registered, in May, the number was 68, in June, 75 and in July, 77.
The Police and Border Guard Board's (PPA) communication manager, Annika Maksimov, told ERR that in May, bicycle theft cases increased, adding this also the time when people use them the most and unfortunately, bikes are left without supervision quite often.
Last year, the PPA registered 463 cycle thefts. As of the end of July this year, 288 thefts had been registered, 160 of them in Tallinn.
However, the figures are still lower than those for 2018 when a total of 674 thefts were registered, and by July there were a total of 448 thefts.
"There is a chance to get a bicycle back when the theft has been caught on camera, or when the owner has taken a picture of the bicycle and written down the frame serial number. This can mean we are able to identify a specific bicycle," Makisimov explained.
Maksimov added that stolen bikes were mainly those which had not been locked or secured adequately, particularly in or near apartment houses.
Over the last four years, most thefts have been committed in corridors or staircases. Additionally, almost a fifth of thefts have taken place on the streets and squares, as well as in basements and outhouses. The median amount of damages concerning stolen bicycles this year is €450, whereas a year earlier it was slightly lower at €410.
Editor: Roberta Vaino