Vanmoof’s pledge to recover stolen customer bikes leads to international theft ring discovery

Dutch bicycle business Vanmoof has almost by accident assisted in bringing authorities down on an international stolen bike trader.

Pledging to its customers to track down or replace its bikes if they’re stolen, much thanks to hidden trackers embedded in the frames, Vanmoof took the unusual step to travel all the way from Amsterdam to Casablanca in Morocco in a bid to capture a thief who had originally stolen the bicycle in Paris.

What happened next surprised everyone. Two days into tracking down the thief, the brand had to cook up a plan to lure the thief out into the open. Having set up hidden cameras, the thief appears, believing those who contacted him were able to put right a technical fault.

Having identified the stolen bike via the frame number, Vanmoof began to press the suspect on how he came to acquire the bike. What happens next is incredible. The thief coughs up to where he acquired the bike, leading the brand’s staff into an enormous warehouse filled with stolen bikes shipped from France to Morocco.

The thief, in this instance, was permitted to keep the Vanmoof that he had assumed legally bought as thanks for leading the authorities to the operation. The victim in France was handed a shiny new bike as compensation.

In prior episodes police have caught Vanmoof “stealing” back stolen bikes and moved to arrest, prior to being made aware of the documentary being filmed.

Vanmoof are the same bicycle business that hit the headlines for printing a television on its bike boxes, in the process reducing in transit damage by up to 80%.

Catch the full story in the below video.