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China's big problem: cycle thieves

China's big problem: cycle thieves

China has launched a nationwide campaign to crack down on rampant bicycle theft in the country.

Beijing: China has launched a nationwide campaign to crack down on rampant bicycle theft in the country which causes a loss of $250 million annually.

China, known as the "bicycle kingdom", is home to a world-record 470 million bicycles.

However, nearly four million cycles, including 7,00,000 electric ones, are stolen each year in the country.

The losses from bicycle theft is worth over two billion yuan ($250 million) annually, a senior official of the Ministry of Public Security was quoted as saying by Xinhua news agency.

Ma Weiya, vice-director of the Ministry of Public Security's Security Management Department, said that people who provide the police with clues resulting in the arrest of more than 15 bike pilferers and seizure of over 50 stolen bikes will be awarded a maximum of 5,000 yuan ($625).

The ministry, in a joint effort with several other government departments, will take measures such as attaching an ID card to every bicycle produced, requiring real-name identification in bicycle trade and establishing a database of thieves, Ma said.

"In recent years, bicycle theft has been a serious issue threatening social order and people's sense of security," he said.

Though achievements have been made in cracking down on the crime, the police still have a long way to go, Ma said.

first published:March 01, 2007, 15:05 IST