News: Major bike heist at Scott Sports HQ in Switzerland

News

Scott Scale

A large number of bikes, such as this high-end Scott Scale, were stolen from company HQ in Switzerland.

Last weekend, thieves broke into a warehouse at Scott Sports headquarters in Givisiez, Switzerland and made off with about 200 bikes worth a combined $1 million US. Scott is the latest victim in a series of burglaries that have affected bike manufacturers and retailers across the globe during the past few months.

In April, a Trek Bicycles demo trailer was stolen, looted, and burned. In January, thieves made off of $100,000 worth of Santa Cruz bikes.

According to a news release from Scott, the perpetrators used highly sophisticated measures, gaining access to the warehouse despite an active burglar alarm and without attracting attention. Once inside, they loaded up a large number of Model Year 2014 road and mountain bikes as well as several Model Year 2015 samples that have not yet been introduced to the market. Average retail price of the bikes was about $5,000. The thieves also stole a truck from an adjacent company to transport the bikes.

“It is a sad truth that the bicycling industry, be it retailers, manufacturers or professional teams, have been victim of recurrent, severe burglaries causing extensive financial damage during the past few years,” said Pascal Ducrot, vice president of Scott Sports.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the local law enforcement agency in Givisiez.

About the author: Jason Sumner

An avid cyclist, Jason Sumner has been writing about two-wheeled pursuits of all kinds since 1999. He’s covered the Tour de France, the Olympic Games, and dozens of other international cycling events. He also likes to throw himself into the fray, penning first-person accounts of cycling adventures in British Columbia, Belgium, Brazil, Costa Rica, France, and Peru among many others. Sumner, who joined the RoadBikeReview.com / Mtbr.com staff in January, 2013, has also done extensive gear testing and edited a book on cycling tips. When not writing or riding, the native Coloradoan can be found enjoying the great outdoors with his wife Lisa.


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  • Alex Bo B'Alex says:

    Wow that’s unbelievable! Stealing from a Bike manufacturer is so low… There’s nothing criminal about a bike manufacturer like Scott. If anyone is gonna steal it should be from a banking corporation.

    • Rydeordie says:

      Meanwhile in unrelated news… I have some bikes posted on Craigslist and eBay if anyone wants to check them out. Seems I used to be sponsored by Scott and have some old swag and 2015 prototype bikes laying around so… Kidding of course

  • Luis says:

    Obviously measures need to be taken as the burglars appear to be more brazen(successfully so) and bikes have not been recovered !! A million $$ worth of merchandise is not peanuts (that’s a lot of bikes). I hope they get nailed !!!

  • PinkFloydLandis says:

    I think we’re seeing more of this simply because sophisticated thieves have relatively recently learned that bicycles are lucrative, liquid and (compared to alternatives) not well protected.

    In this Scott, case, lets assume the destroy the frames and sell the untrackable parts from the bikes. That’s roughly $1000 x 200 = $200,000 from a single robbery that required no guns, no interaction with people, and minimal risk. Compare that to the average take in a US bank robbery (only $5000!) and the associated risks.

    Basically, bikes have become one of the most attractive opportunities to professional thieves. GPS tracking on the frames isn’t going to help, since so much value is derived from the parts. Perhaps serial numbers on all high-end parts, combined with enforced policies on eBay requiring that serial numbers be noted in all listings, could dampen this trend.

  • J-Flo says:

    I assume the frames will be discarded and the components sold at retail/internet as OEM takeoffs. It stinks and maybe the bike companies will become more serious about serial number registries for frames and valuable parts like wheels and forks.

    Alex Bo, above, your comment is idiotic. Guess whose money the banks hold. Everyones.

  • Brian Q says:

    I’m sure Scott has insurance. Not that this is ok, but it is better than people ripping off personal bikes on the streets, which is an everyday occurrence, probably equating to similar losses. It’s not a bike problem, it’s a greed problem. People are greedy.

  • Shred Man says:

    First off, adding GPS and serial numbers to all frames and high end parts will just raise the price even more for the consumer. 2nd, these bike companies all have insurance, so their loss will be covered. What they need to do is invest in a little better security for their warehouse locations that house all of the valuable product, ie, better alarms, security cameras and security guards if necessary. If they make it a hard place to steal from, the thieves will go somewhere else to steal. The frames likely won’t be destroyed either, rather sold to unscrupulous bike shops and swap meets for cheap prices.

  • mac says:

    Are all these thefts the work of a gang that travels the world hitting the best trails in between scores ? Somebody call Johnny Utah !!

  • Huffy says:

    I think that the GPS tracking may be a good idea, but in a limited way. The manufacturer could install the trackers inside the box with instructions to the end retailer to ship it back in a post-paid envelope. This could be done in one or two bikes that would be shipped to larger distributors, with the devices set to ping back at intervals or when it moves (using an accelerometer or simple motion switch). The obstacle would be battery life, but that could depend on how long the bikes generally need to sit in a warehouse / transit. Since most lines sell only through authorized dealers it would not be hard for manufacturers to make sure they get their trackers back. It is unlikely that the thieves in these scenarios would have the time to go through every box to look for a tracker until they thought they were in a safe location (which could point the authorities to them). The trackers would not even need to be in the frames, just inside a small box of parts which would normally come with the bike.

  • Captain Obvious says:

    I’ll guarantee they end up in China. They’ll prob be knocked-off too. That sort of brazen act means they can’t just sell these things. Scott doesn’t deserve that! Hope they get busted.

  • Leonard says:

    No, they won’t go to China, the stolen bikes will be smuggled into some other part of Europe and parted out.

  • Gasket-Jeff says:

    If these bikes were not marked up so high than they would not be such a target. I don’t see any LBS’s going under in my neighborhood. I see both road and MTB flureshing and I also see price being a barrier of entry for people wanting to try the sport. I ask my friends to come riding with me and they reply “I can’t afford a $10k bike, I will stick with golf at $200 a day” This is the sport that only doctors and lawyers are picking up, and yet I had no problem picking the sport up in the 90s for a few hundred bux.
    Like the music industry being wiped out by piracy I don’t have much sympathy for a bike company that sells a product that costs less than $500 to make for over $5k. I love mountain biking. But the prices are too high! And when I go out to the mountains to ride I pass flocks of road bikers on bikes that cost twice as much and the mtbs I see on the trails.

    • John C. says:

      You’re completely wrong on every count, and apparently have no idea what it costs to design and manufacture a product, or to run a business in general.

      And, I don’t know any doctors or lawyers who mountain bike. But I do have 3 friends who are auto mechanics and ride $4000.00 to $7000.00 X-C bikes, though, and none of them are rich.

      What’s to keep you from buying a rideable used mountain or road bike for the cost of 3 days of golf? Nothing. From then on, its just maintenance costs for the next 5 yrs or so. That’s a lot cheaper than golf.

      A bike bought in 1995 for $500.00, adjusted for inflation is about $800.00 or $900.00 in today’s dollars. For $500.00, you now get a bike that is vastly superior to a 1995 bike, and cheaper as well.

      You don’t need a $5000.00 bike to ride a local X-C trail. So if you and your friends can’t afford a cheap trail bike, I suggest you guys divert some of what you spend on beer and weed to a bike fund.

      My brother is riding a $3000.00+ upgraded mint condition Giant Anthem he bought locally for $800.00 off of Craigslist. The bargains are out there, even for people without much money. You just have to be willing to to get off your whiny liberal ass and educate yourself and look for the deals.

      Also, the high-margin expensive bikes allow manufacturers to subsidize the cheap bikes that get people started in the sport, and they also drive the technological advances that trickle down to the cheap bikes, making them better, as well.

      So, don’t knock expensive bikes or the manufacturers. Without them, the bike you ride would otherwise likely be an antiquated POS.

  • Luke says:

    Seems to me to be an awful pain to have to deal with 200 bikes and a stolen truck large enough to transport. That’s got to be about the most unwieldy, inconvenient loot I can think of. Where do you keep them? Can’t exactly just dump them in your garage, quick. And the time to open them all up, strip the parts, list for sale, pack, ship, ditch the frames, ditch the truck, 200 large cardboard boxes. I think they have plenty of opportunities here to leave a trail and get caught, and they sure do have plenty of work to do to see the gains.

    Had to laugh at “highly sophisticated measures,” though. Without further details, we all know they just cut a cable and smashed a window.

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