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Battery Theft

Old 04-18-21, 09:02 AM
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Pop N Wood
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Battery Theft

Took the ebike sight seeing in Washington DC yesterday. Was impressed at the large number of rental ebikes and scooters everywhere. I got wondering whether these rental places have issues with battery theft?

Many of the batteries didn't look exactly high end. But with so many of them it seems like one could build a chop shop enterprise boosting cells and repackaging them.

I know the bikes themselves have GPS trackers so they can be rounded up and recharged at night. But can't imagine it taking more than a screwdriver to pop the batteries off, especially since the shells wouldn't be reused.
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Old 04-18-21, 11:03 AM
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Good point especially since electrical structures are vandalized for the copper. This might be more lucrative.
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Old 04-18-21, 11:23 AM
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The scooter business relies on the gig economy. People run around picking up scooters and charging them, dropping them off when ready. That's legal and it's got to be more lucrative than trying to fence a used battery.

Example news story, have not checked to see what it's like two years later
https://www.theverge.com/2019/3/15/1...sting-business

oo, it's gotten worse
https://www.vice.com/en/article/pkez...opped-doing-it
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Old 04-18-21, 12:52 PM
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I doubt the individuals that steal copper (or batteries) are interested in more gainful employment.
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Old 04-18-21, 11:48 PM
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No serious market for a chop shop battery. It would be like having a garage fire catered to your house,
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Old 04-19-21, 06:26 AM
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Currently, ALL my e-bikes have key locks on the battery, requires a key to turn on the battery & remove the battery from the frame.
Most of the cheap, Chinese delivery e-bikes I see around NYC also have similar key lock feature on the battery; same key as the on/off ignition on the handlebar of the e-bikes.
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Old 04-20-21, 12:09 AM
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Luckily, if a thief were to try and remove the battery, they would also break the case and make the battery useless. Cell harvesting? Maybe, but thats still a lot of work.

So far thieves havent figured out if they should steal batteries, but they do steal whole bikes.

-SP
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Old 04-20-21, 06:38 AM
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Don't think I would depend on a battery lock for anything.


Besides replacement cases are only $40.

I was thinking harvesting to either replenish an old battery or to build a bigger one.

Well let's hope the crack heads don't start seeing an opportunity. The rental bikes and scooters were everywhere. They are a great idea in a place like DC; too much to see by walking while parking/public transportation is limited. I've lived here for almost 30 year, worked in DC for a time and escorted dozens of veterans groups on monument tours. I saw more of DC in one afternoon on a bicycle than in all the previous trips. At least the parts that are no longer fenced off, LOL.
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Old 04-22-21, 09:42 AM
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Triangle battery

I've got a 20Ah triangle battery that could be stolen in 20 seconds, and there's no way to prevent it. I've always been paranoid about my bikes being stolen, and try not to let them out of my sight if I'm in a store or whatever. It limits what I can do (no grocery shopping) but I've lost enough valuables over the years to know better. That sinking feeling when you realize something has been stolen doesn't go away soon. I had a tool box stolen once and 40 years later still don't have the high quality of tools I was building up back then. Keep your friends close, and your bikes and batteries closer!
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Old 04-22-21, 01:17 PM
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I know what you mean; I had a fantastic bike stolen from my truck at midnight once while locked in the bed and me basically watching it for all but 30 seconds while in the store. Also had a Christmas present bike for my son stolen from a locked garage. Now, my bikes don't basically leave my hands. As far as stolen batteries being worthless, there are places like endless sphere, where used ones are listed.
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Old 04-23-21, 04:01 PM
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Good heads up

Apparently in places like SF, where the street folks do a brisk business in bikes, batteries from scooters were a quick pinch as there was a strong used market to fence into.
The cell locator in the first gen scoots were a small PCB that wasn't hard to disarm. The scooter vendors bought them cheap and "ďnventory shrinkage"was just factored in.
They have folded here , so I guess that rental scooters were the scam it appeared to be.
This is not something that is my model, but the only thing protecting my bike is its weight
Good to know a nondestructive recovery is not hard, for lost keys, but destructive removal with a big screwdriver would seem to be a bigger threat. 50 to 70 cells would have street value.
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Old 05-04-21, 05:02 PM
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There are battery powered alarms that are motion sensitive and activated with a remote control. They sell for $16 on Amazon plus the cost of a special battery at $5. I don't trust any bike that I leave at a rack in a city to be there when I come back out of a store or restaurant.

Last edited by unterhausen; 05-06-21 at 07:19 AM. Reason: no politics
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