Thursday, August 11, 2011

Lucky Victim

During one of the past few nights a suspected drug addict tried to steal my motorbike, and I was very lucky he failed. The bike is usually parked just outside my house, but the past few days I'd been borrowing my school principal's car, so my bike was parked at her house. (I now realize that I was setting myself up to be a theft victim by parking it in plain sight along a main road, especially considering that my bike is a coveted model which is frequently stolen.) When I went to return her car and pick up the moto today, we discovered the damage.

The key mechanism is destroyed because the thief jammed some tool into it to try to turn on the engine. However, it was only a few minutes before several local guys showed up to lend a hand with some tools and technical knowledge of motorbikes. (I've consistently experienced this kind of helpfulness here.) Before long the guys had taken the bike half apart and completely removed the ruined key mechanism, which I now know isn't actually necessary in order to turn on the engine. Now my bike can be turned on and driven with no key at all until I buy a replacement key mechanism. Tonight the bike is parked outside my house once again, which is a very secure spot because there are two levels of security gates between the school's main entrance and my house. The folks said a better thief would have been able to steal the bike very easily, or at least remove and steal the engine and leave behind the wheels and frame, which is often done.

On the local motorbike spare parts market here are key mechanisms which are more secure and harder to fudge with than the stock version. I plan to buy the "Nazi key," so called because the shaft of the key isn't flat but rather formed like a 3D swastika. From now on I'll always put a padlock through the front wheel brake rotor so the bike can't be driven or even pushed anywhere. I'll also always find a secure place to park it. I only need to prevent it from being stolen for another 3 months and then I'll relinquish it to its next owner before leaving Malaysia.