Criminals, they’re just like us! They use Google to research and get better at their jobs. Because Priceonomics really hates bike theft, we’ve written extensively about what happens to stolen bikes and even built a stolen bike finder search tool. One of the great results of this campaigning is when someone’s bike is stolen, a Google search will point them in the direction of some of our resources to help them recover their bike.


An unintended consequence of our domain expertise in bike theft is we seem to attract a decent amount of Google search queries from actual and aspiring bike thieves.

We went through our logs of what Google searches brought people to the site, and were alarmed that some of the more popular queries were from scumbag thieves:

“how to steal a bike”

“stealing a bike”

“best tools for stealing bikes”

Haha, but seriously:

“how do you actually steal a bike”

Some of our visitors appear to be seeking moral guidance in matters of bike theft:

“if bike isn’t locked, is it stealing to take it?”

“if you find an unlocked bike is it stealing?”

While others are wondering about their opportunity costs. Given their time is scarce, what should they be stealing, if anything at all?

“best things to steal to get cash”

“do people make a living stealing”

Finally, some people want to know the consequences if you get caught stealing a bike:

“what happens if you steal a $50 bike”

“penalty for stealing bikes”

“how many service hours do you do if you steal a bike?”

Rest assured would be thieves, our prior research has shown there is almost no consequence for stealing bikes!


Anyhow, maybe our next anti-theft tool should be a honey pot for bike thieves. If we can attract even more thieves to our site, then we can catch ‘em!