Published on December 19, 2022

Increased penalties for bicycle thieves

They’re stolen everywhere. By day and by night, from garages or on the street, from cellars or in shared courtyards. Taking them away is very easy, but being caught is extremely difficult: bicycle thefts have become a business for occasional thieves or for really specialized and technologically prepared blindfolds.

It is fair to remember that “A bicycle that is not adequately protected or tied up is a movable property that is exposed to public trust”: for this reason, the crime of aggravated theft is triggered for the thief who steals it. It is established by the sentence n. 35997/2022 of the Cassation. So contrary to what happens with motor vehicles left with the keys attached, whose owner is fined for negligence (article 158 of the Highway Code), for a bike left unattended – out of necessity and not out of habit – the aggravating circumstance falls about the person who steals it or attempts to steal it.

New consequences

From this derive a series of consequences: it is legal to leave a parked bicycle without tying it with a chain; leaving the bicycle untethered does not imply liability for its owner; in the event of theft, the fact that the bicycle has been left unprotected does not prevent the owner from filing a lawsuit against the thief; the theft of a bike without a chain does not exclude the right to compensation.

For aggravated theft of a bike left unprotected, the penalty provided for by the Penal Code is imprisonment from 2 to 6 years and a fine from 927 to 1,500 euros. Instead, in the case of “simple theft”, i.e. without aggravating circumstances (for example a bicycle tied to a chain that is tampered with or broken) the penalty ranges from a minimum of 6 months to a maximum of 3 years imprisonment, while the fine from 154 to 516 euros.

The Viasat’s proposal

Being robbed of your bike today, also due to the presence of increasingly advanced, but also increasingly expensive models, constitutes significant economic damage. Properly protecting them is important and satellite technology, perhaps in addition to traditional chains or padlocks, represents a phenomenal weapon. In this regard, Viasat’s Sherlock is designed to monitor the bike at any time. What differentiates it from normal satellite trackers is the 24/7 connection with the Viasat Operations Centre: in the event of theft or if someone tries to remove the device, the alarm is activated and law enforcement procedures are started for recovery of the vehicle. But Sherlock is not characterized by being only anti-theft; the SOS button is also available to receive any medical aid, in the event of illness, or mechanical, in the event of a breakdown.

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