Investigation of Bicycle Theft

A tracking system based on Bluetooth beacons can help retrieve stolen bicycles and reduce the number of bicycle thefts in the long term.


  • positioning of bicycles in case of theft
  • alarm triggering in case of beacon detection
  • data matching with images from surveillance cameras


In the Belgian city of Mechelen, many bicycles are stolen. The police there sought a solution to retrieve the bicycles, to convict the perpetrators and to reduce the number of thefts in the long run.


Together with our Belgian partner Epico, who is responsible for project management on-site, we worked on a tracking system. It should be affordable for bicycle owners, maintain their privacy, retrieve stolen bicycles reliably and identify the thieves. Tracking is based on Bluetooth beacons and infsoft Locator Nodes. The data are matched with images from existing CCTV cameras. The citizens of Mechelen can buy the beacons very cheaply from police.


3d infographic: investigation of bicycle theft

If you want to secure your bicycle, you can equip it with a Bluetooth beacon, which can be stowed in the saddle tube, where it is invisible for thieves. The police have previously stored each beacon with its ID in a database and linked it to the most important characteristics of the bicycle. The data remain in the database for three months, if the bicycle is not reported as stolen. Only in this case the police will see the movements of the bicycle in a web interface. As soon as the bike passes one of the 40 infsoft Locator Nodes, which are installed at strategic locations in the city center and at the arterial roads, an alarm is triggered. The database stores all places and times the bike was sighted. These data can be matched with the images of the existing CCTV cameras. Thus, in many cases it is possible to identify the perpetrator. The system also works when the stolen bike is in a transporter.


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Great introduction to the topic of indoor positioning

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