Since many bicycle thefts are not reported to the police, it is difficult to say exactly how many bicycles are actually stolen. In 2012, 66,100 bicycle thefts were reported in Sweden, which is 9 percent more than the previous year. Bicycle theft is one of the most common types of property theft.
Reports of bicycle thefts have decreased over the last decade by 7 percent. But since many bicycle thefts are not reported to the police, it is difficult to say exactly how many bicycles are actually stolen. Insurance protection and the value of stolen bicycles are two factors that have an impact on a person's tendency to report the crime, and changes in insurance terms affect both the number of reports and the actual amount of crime.
According to an international comparative study, Sweden is one of the countries that have the highest proportion of bicycle thefts. Calculated by population, bicycle theft is more common in counties that have universities, and most common of all in the counties of Götaland, Västmanland and Skåne.
It is mainly households with children that are affected by bicycle theft and it is more common for bicycles to be stolen in public areas than at home.
The low proportion of suspected persons and crimes that are cleared make it difficult to say anything about the suspects with any certainty, although studies indicate that there are elements of opportunism as well as crime of a more organised kind. A person can be tied to the crime in just one percent of bicycle thefts. Since bicycle theft does not belong to a specific legal category, it is not possible to determine how many persons were prosecuted for it.