In a weird way, this is one of the most despicable crimes there is. Now, obviously it's not on a par with rape, murder or torture, but as theft goes, it's pretty low down and dirty.

The reason: the benefit accruing to the thief from the crime is grossly out of proportion with the suffering caused to the victim. The thief will possibly be able to sell the bike for a few notes, while the victim is quite likely to have his/her whole way of life disrupted. A car thief should at least do quite well out of his/her crime, while the car-owner is likely to have an insurance company that can provide him/her with a short-term replacement and eventually the funds with which to purchase a new car.

If my bike were stolen (and it has been in the past), the fact that it is insured for more than its worth would be of no comfort to me. Having to do without the vehicle for any length of time, while looking for a replacement, would cause me intolerable stress. I'm sure other bike owners can empathise.

So, if you are considering going into bicycle theft, I urge you to reconsider. If you must break the law for money, please at least choose a crime where you can amass your desired amount of money without pissing too many people off. Better yet, get a job.