Bike owners in Thanet are having to resort to new ways of protecting their vehicles as scores are stolen by thieves.
Figures obtained by KentOnline reveal there were 178 reports of thefts and unauthorised taking of mopeds, motorcycles and scooters in Thanet over the past 12 months.
Reports of thefts and unauthorised taking of two-wheeled vehicles in this area totalled 84 between February 1, 2019 and January 31, 2020.
Robert Griggs, of High Street, Ramsgate, was visiting a friend in Cliftonville when two people stole his motorbike.
He said: "I got a notification on my tracker, so I went out to check because the wind can set it off.
"When I went back inside they came back, pushed the bike to a field and tried to hotwire it."
Although on this occasion the thieves were unable to successfully make off with the bike, the damage cost Mr Griggs £600.
Now he's worried about what he can do to keep them from returning.
He said: "It’s a constant stress now if it might happen again, I don’t have a garage to store mine in.
"It’s very quick easy money to steal them; you can steal a £30K bike in seconds and get away with it easily."
According to Kent Police, teams in Thanet made 22 arrests of 12 individuals between last November and February 25.
On February 26, four people were arrest as part of an investigation into an assault in Ramsgate and a related theft of a motorbike in Westwood Cross.
Daniel Tolhurst, 18, of Sturry Road, Canterbury, was charged on Friday, February 28, with causing grievous bodily harm with intent, possession of a knife in a public place, robbery, threatening a person with a knife, threatening a person with an offensive weapon (bicycle lock), theft of a motorcycle and causing criminal damage to a car.
A 15-year-old boy from London was charged with the theft of a motorcycle and bailed to appear at Margate Magistrates’ Court on April 2.
A 19-year-old man, of no fixed address, was also arrested on suspicion of assault and theft of a motor vehicle and was released on bail until March 13.
One motorbike owner called Brian, from Margate, who did not want to be identified in case his bike is targeted again, took every safety measure he could to protect himself from thieves.
"They’re doing what they want because they know they can..."
He said: "Our bike is locked up behind a five-foot gate with a padlock.
"It was tucked up so you couldn’t see it, with a ground anchor, chain and lock around the back wheel. It had a cover over it and a security light."
Despite the precautions, thieves broke into the back garden and took the bike on Christmas Eve, causing more than £1000 in damage to the vehicle and the property.
The 49-year-old added: "They were riding around on it, I got a speeding ticket because they they were clocked doing 55mph in a 30 limit.
"They’re doing what they want because they know they can."
"You can steal a £30K bike in seconds..."
Brian eventually found the bike dumped in another area of Thanet, after a resident posted a picture of it on Facebook.
Chief Inspector Ed Ruffle, District Commander for Thanet, said: "In recent weeks, a number of arrests have been made in relation to thefts of vehicles or interfering with vehicles and enquiries are ongoing.
"Patrols by Thanet's Community Policing Team look to identify anyone using a stolen moped or who may be looking to steal them and take action.
"Crime prevention officers are also working with local training schools, test centres and businesses to ensure new riders are given instructions in moped security."
He added: "I urge motorbike and moped owners to lock, chain and cover their vehicles and to consider fitting an alarm as an added deterrent to thieves."