I'm interested in experiences what happens in reality when a bike with a GPS tracker is targeted / stolen by thieves.
There are GPS trackers with a SIM card that will send an alarm to your mobile when moved, and you can also query the location remotely by sending an SMS text message. Some are specially designed for bicycles and are hidden e.g. in the seatpost, but they are fairly expensive.
What I'm interested in are the cheaper ones costing around 20-40 UK Pounds. They are too bulky to be hidden inside the frame, so it's a question whether they are noticed by thieves or not. For example, they look like rear lights (but can be screwed to the frame so that it's at least time-consuming/fiddly to get them off).
My question is if there are any experiences how thieves actually react to those. In particular:
- Are there examples that thieves have checked the bike for such devices, taken them off and nicked the bike anyway?
- Conversely, are there examples that thieves didn't notice them and got caught?
- Or perhaps thieves notice the device and then leave the bike, as it's an additional risk? The alarm is sent at the first movement, so if the owner is nearby, the thieve would get only a few minutes.
My bike is always locked with two locks, and it's in the medium price range (about 600 pounds inc dynamo lights, mudguards, rack etc., but a few years old and well-used), so it would be most likely targeted by reasonably equipped thieves to sell on the local second-hand market, but not really experts looking for expensive bike parts.
There is another question asking for experience, but that one is more focussed on the technical practicalities, with good comments about ease of use, need to recharge, mobile phone SIM card charges etc.. I'm aware of all that and it doesn't have to be repeated here. But there are no answers about experience with actual thieves.