Metropolitan Traffic Police Division arrested Srijar Senchuri, 25, of Sindhupalchowk with a stolen motorcycle from Sankhu, Sankharapur Municipality-6, last week.

The bike, which belonged to Sujit Maharjan, was lifted from the parking lot of Bhatbhateni Supermarket in Koteshwor on 29 December 2020. Four months after the incident, plainclothes cops deployed by MTPD managed to retrieve the stolen bike.

But all persons are not as lucky as Maharjan.

Stolen bikes are rarely retrieved.

The ratio of stolen bikes and their recovery is 6:1. According to the statistics by Victim Support Unit at MTPD, it registered a total of 920 complaints related to bike lifting so far in the current fiscal, but only 150 bikes were retrieved. Similarly, police arrested more than 40 persons for their alleged involvement in bike lifting.

Kathmandu valley reported 1,398 complaints of bike lifting during the first eight months of the current fiscal 2020-21. However, only 376 bikes were recovered over the period, according to Metropolitan Traffic Police Division.

Similarly, MTPD registered 1,710 cases of bike theft last fiscal. However, it was successful in recovering only 232 of them.

Traffic police deploy sleuths led by an inspector in remote hills and the Tarai region to intercept stolen bikes.

Racketeers are found selling a stolen bike for Rs 20,000 to Rs 200,000 depending on its condition and brand.

Most of the two-wheelers lifted from Kathmandu valley are sold to clients in rural parts that have road networks but do not have presence of law enforcement officials, which makes it almost impossible for police to locate such bikes. All the stolen bikes are also used by replacing the genuine registration number with fake ones. Hospital, hotel and temple premises, and busy marketplaces are more vulnerable to bike thefts.

Senior Superintendent of Police Janak Bhattarai, MTPD in-charge, advised bike owners to park their two-wheelers in secure places with handles locked. He also suggested that installing an intelligent locking system with double lock options could minimise the chances of bike being stolen.

Traffic police have also been encouraging the motorcycle owners to use wheel-lock, disc-lock, brake-lock, fuel-lock system and GPS tracker in their bikes to ensure safety of their properties.

Bouddha, Pepsicola, Baneshwor, Koteshwor, Chabahil, Budhanilkantha, Maharajgunj, Thamel, Sundhara, Balaju, Kalanki, Pulchowk, Jawalakhel and Lagankhel are the places from where motorcycles are mostly lifted.

A version of this article appears in the print on April 10, 2021, of The Himalayan Times.