In Bali, crime rates are very low, and I haven't heard of any bike thefts in many years. However, according to Murphy's Law, if something can happen, it might!
Safety rules to minimize the risk of bike theft:
- Never leave your documents in the scooter; carry them with you. Take your bike documents and driver's license if you keep them in the storage compartment. This is especially important if you leave the bike overnight.
- Lock the handlebars; this will make it 100 times more difficult for thieves, as they won't be able to easily move the bike to a place where they can work on its electronics.
- Avoid leaving the scooter in quiet, dark areas. If you're leaving it for an extended period, choose a proper paid parking spot or, even better, leave it with friends or acquaintances.
- Carefully read the rental contract; it outlines what to do in case of theft. Discuss the theft scenario in advance!
- Inquire about scooter insurance. Not all rental agencies provide insurance for scooters . As far as I know, new bikes usually have insurance for 1 or 2 years. After that, most bikes are uninsured.
If your scooter goes missing, the first thing to do is call the owner and return the keys and documents under receipt. Demand a refund for the remaining days or request a replacement bike, explaining the urgency of your situation. This reduces the likelihood of having to go to the police and waste your time. Just tell them what happened, where you left the bike, what you saw, and that should be enough.
Typically, 99% of bikes are rented out illegally without proper tax payments, etc., so it's in the owner's interest to claim that they were riding the bike themselves, and you have the rental contract as evidence. Most likely, you will receive a new bike from the owner or a refund for the remaining days. Reporting to the police should only be done through the bike owner.
Usually, if you report to the police promptly, the bikes are found within 1-2 days. By the way, one more thing: the police might ask for 1-2 million rupiahs for expediting the bike recovery 😉.