From Shimano to The Sopranos: Organised Crime Sets Sights on Bike Parts
Bikes being stolen from shops and garages is a sadly common enough affair, but this story from the Czech Republic suggests that organised crime has spotted the value that lies in components thanks to the current supply shortage.
A truck full of Shimano parts destined to complete ten thousand bikes was on its way to the Czech distributor Bike Fun International when it was robbed in seemingly planned and professional circumstances, with the lorry driver gassed and traces of evidence removed.
The heist took place on the night of January 21 at a motorway rest area in Germany during aBike Fun International
truck driver’s break. The incident was carried out by a well-organized group who, by all
indications, must have planned the whole thing well. In all likelihood, the truck had been followed
from the time it was loaded, the thieves waited for the driver to take a rest break, and then the
perpetrators put him to sleep with the gas let into the cab. Finally, they disguised the evidence in
the cargo area with a fire extinguisher to prevent the seizure of the trace.
The consignment was apparently loaded mostly with expensive e-bike and bike parts, with only nine boxes of low-end components left in the truck. Bike Fun International thinks this will delay production
of some models by almost a year, as there is no alternative on the market for many of the parts from this shipment.
“We really haven’t seen this situation before. Even Shimano has not faced with a targeted robbery ofBFI supply chain director Petr Krkoska.
a shipment on a similar scale. We hope that due to the shortage of parts, these cases will not be
repeated, because despite all the measures we have set up, no insurance cover can compensate us for the loss and especially the reputation for late delivery. We decided to communicate this matter to warn other producers, because it could happen to them also,” he added.
Bikes themselves are tricky enough to trace, let alone components – though perhaps some of the ebike parts may have some kind of serial numbers associated with them that might make them traceable? Ten thousand bicycle’s worth of parts is a lot of bits to shift. Will they pop up on eBay, down the local car boot sale, or will a desperate bike shop or two look the other way and ask no questions?
What is it they say… stay safe, don’t have nightmares?
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