How professional thieves stole $1M of e-bikes in just seven minutes

When my high-end electric bike was stolen last year, the intense combination of feelings ranging from violation to anger was hard to describe. But that is nothing compared to what one innovative electric bike maker is going through after $1M worth of unreleased new e-bikes was stolen in one fell swoop.

Biktrix, the Canadian e-bike maker behind several impressively designed, high-power models, shared the devastating news that a container of new Juggernaut FS ST e-bikes was stolen from the company’s Delta, BC warehouse. There were also several prototype models Biktrix is developing for release next year in the container.

It’s a huge setback for Biktrix, which has grown from humble beginnings a decade ago as a garage startup into a major e-bike maker with a 20,000-strong customer base.

The new Juggernaut FS ST e-bike model was recently announced, with Biktrix preparing to begin shipments to fulfill pre-orders. This was the first batch of these new e-bikes produced.

Unlike many white-labeled electric bikes that use a combination of à la carte components and frames chosen from a catalog of OEM parts, the Juggernaut FS ST is Biktrix’s own in-house design. It also features a unique frame with a hidden rear shock assembly, making it easy to identify.

The bike includes a powerful mid-drive motor that puts out 1,200 watts of power, as well as an industry-leading 1,300 Wh battery. That’s roughly twice the size of the average e-bike battery on most models these days.

With a combination cadence and torque sensor for pedal assist as well as throttle control, it’s quite unique among today’s high-powered full-suspension e-bikes, especially for an easy-to-mount step-through e-bike.

Its eye-catching design should make the bike easily identifiable. To further help identify the bikes, should they make it onto the secondary market, Biktrix shared that they include serial numbers in the range from BK2CE30001 to BK2CE30140.

Biktrix also shared security footage showing the suspected thieves arriving at the warehouse with a Ryder semi-truck used to pull the container. The container appears to have been mounted on a container chassis, likely from its recent delivery at the warehouse. The thieves broke the lock securing the container chassis, connected it to the semi-truck, and drove off into the night with one million dollars worth of unreleased new e-bikes in tow. They were on site for just seven minutes.

What likely would have been a fairly simple case for the police in a country with stronger public surveillance turned out to be a nightmare for Biktrix. The company discovered after talking to police that traffic cameras in Canada don’t actually record video unless a car is speeding or runs a red light. The company also provided the license plate number of the thieves, but the police could legally only surveil them for two days. As the company’s CEO explained, the vehicle didn’t go near the bikes in those two days, and so the police had to end the surveillance and effectively release the thieves.

“This container wasn’t just metal and contents, this container was like a treasure chest of our dreams, our entire team’s hard work, and considerable market value worth $1M—comprising all of our savings,” explained Biktrix Founder and CEO Roshan Thomas.

The container was insured with a standard ship to shore policy, commonplace in the ocean freight industry. However, the container had already reached Biktrix’s receiving warehouse, meaning it would typically no longer be covered under the policy.

While it is looking increasingly unlikely, the company hopes that the Canadian police will be able to locate the container before the bikes are lost. They also urge anyone who sees the container or the Juggernaut FS ST bikes to contact their local authorities. These are the only Juggernaut FS ST bikes in North America.

In the meantime, Thomas and the rest of the company are trying to keep their spirits up, explaining “We’re determined not to let this set us back. Instead, we’re using it as fuel to push harder, innovate more, and keep believing in what we do.”

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