A (fake) thief hunting with the Police

Last month we performed a test with the local police to validate the precision of Sherlock GPS localization and the efficacy of the bicycle retrieval process.

 

We pre-alerted the police and shared the testing procedure with them, without giving them any details on the route the bicycle would follow.

Here is how the experiment rolled out:

  • We installed Sherlock in one of our bikes handlebar and parked it on a street
  • A few minutes later a fake thief (Andrea, our product designer) began to tamper with the chain and managed to steal the bike
  • The bike owner (Pierluigi, our CEO) received a push notification on his smartphone and reached the Police station
  • The bike owner communicated to the police the tracking code and webpage URL to check the real-time position of the bicycle
  • The police officers started “hunting” for the stolen bike, moving with a car and checking the GPS position of the bike on their smartphones
  • The thief followed a pre-defined route which included different path characteristics (presence of trees, tall buildings, narrow streets, etc.).
  • The police caught the (fake) thief together with the bike in a park in the centre of the city in 18 minutes from the start of the “hunt”

We also shot a video to share the live action with you.

Here is a little preview, stay tuned for the full video – coming soon!

 

 

Comments (39)

Very encouraging! The difficulty I suppose is getting police authorities across the EU to allocate resources to actually respond rather than a file and forget approach that seems privileged these days.

Hi Kim! We began our tests here in Turin but we received requests from several local police departments, so it seems that bicycle theft is getting more and more attention. With Sherlock, cyclists will be able to share their tracking code with the police to actively prompt their timely intervention, which is key for retrieval.

How well would it work if bike will be inside a van and van will go to the underground carpark? Most of expensive bikes are stolen not by kids to cycle to nearby park but by organised thieves who will put bike inside van and drive it to “unloading” point.

Hi Alexey! Sherlock uses both GPS and GPRS network for better location. We are conducting tests with our beta testers to simulate different hiding conditions, so stay tuned for test results! You will read more about it here on our blog.

When do you think the product will be available for purchase and what will be the cost?

Hi Joe! Sherlock will be available in early 2017 and it will cost 120-150 € circa. Stay tuned for more updates on the launch – coming soon!

I predict that there will be HUGE demand for this product if it works as advertised. Almost everyone I speak with has had a bike stolen in the past. Will it be available in North America (including Canada) at the same time? With which mobile carriers will it be compatible? Thank you.

Hi Jonas! Thank you for the support. Sherlock will be available for sales worldwide starting in 2017 through our website. The SIM card for the Internet connections comes included with the product, so you will not have to worry about activating a new service.

For the end caps on mountain bikes – The ends of the handlebars will strike the sides of trees, branches, and of course the ground. This is a pretty typical situation. Does Sherlock account for this, both from shock and striking the device? In other words, is it rugged enough?

Hi Scott, Sherlock will be tested for shocks and bounces, and we will provide all details on the product specification. Stay tuned for more updates!

can you please guys provide the dimensions(Length/Width/Height) in cm/in…..it seems it is to be a break thru device……is the product and gps service paid one time or will be a monthly charge
and last thing if the testing working well in Europe…dose that mean it will work fine in Canada……

Hi Tarig,
here you can find the dimensions and more technical specifications https://www.sherlock.bike/en/technical-specifications/
The device is equipped with GPS localization and GPRS connection, and it will work in Canada too.
Sherlock will be available for sales online in the first quarter of the year, with Internet connection subscription for 2 yrs already included in the price.

If the tracking device is hidden in the handle bar, I would think the trief now know of this device and would simple remove it from the handle bar. Their should be a way to push it all the way up the handle bar and would need a special device to pull it out. That way, it’s truly hidden…

Hi Taylor, Sherlock needs to be hidden near the end of the handlebar, for the GPS antenna to communicate with the satellite. Sherlock reacts to the smallest movement sending you an alert, so you will immediately know if someone is trying to sabotage the device.

Will the SIM card be 3G/4G as 2G ones do not appear to cope with the more up to date mapping applications

Hello Danny,
our SIMs use M2M technology, that collects data from distributed sensors via cellular, satellite, or other networks. If you have specific questions reguarding the cellular networks please write to info@sherlock.bike and our technicians will be happy to answer to your requests.

What will be the effective range of this device?

Sherlock uses GPS technology to track your bicycle, so you will be able to localize it anywhere through the Sherlock mobile app. Check the following link for more tech specs https://www.sherlock.bike/en/technical-specifications/

Do an introductory price of 99 eur

Hello Harcix! Sherlock will be available for preorders soon with a promotional price. Subscribe to our newsletter to be updated on the launch!

Hi there, sounds great. Apart from the obvious security benefits for bike touring – would my family also be able to track my progress across Europe on a regular basis. This would be a real benefit for me and give peace of mind.

Hi Nick! At the moment you can share the position of your bicycle only when it is in alarm mode, to allow the police to track it down. We are working also on leisure activity tracking, that will be available in future software releases.

Hoping the battery might last a little longer… is that possible? What kind of a battery monitoring solution is there on a cell phone (app) etc… so you know your battery level and when it needs charging? Thanks.

You can always check the battery status on the mobile app, and we will alert you with a push notification when it reaches a critical threshold.

Is bluetooth 4.0 backwards compatible for older cell phones?

Hi! Sherlock mobile app requires Android 4.4+ or iOS 8+ to operate efficiently.

Have you thought about integrating Bluetooth 4.1 before the official launch? It seems like that would be the way to go for the future??

Sherlock integrates Bluetooth 4.0 for short-range communication with the mobile app.

Hi guys, great work so far. Did you consider finding a way to constantly charge the device using a connection to a hub dynamo? I have a hub dynamo and would find that very useful instead of having to constantly remember charging the device in order to have a full battery once it’s stolen.

Hi Martin! Self-charging is going to be one of the future lines of development for Sherlock. For the moment, the device is equipped with 2 batteries that last up to one week with a single charge.

Hi there, Will Sherlock Bike be available for me to buy and use in Australia? Will the I need to buy an Australian telco SIMM or will it already have one that works in my Country? Your website only lists Europe, USA and Canada.

Hi Dale! Sherlock will be available at first only in Europe, USA and Canada. Please subscribe to our newsletter to be updated on the product launch in Australia.

Hello Sherlock-team,

this seems to be the tracker I’m looking for for a long time. 🙂
Can you please tell us how long the device can work on a single charge from the battery and do we have to put it in and out of service manually or with the app?

Greetings,

Bart.

Hi Geuns!
The battery lasts up to 1 week with a single charge and the device can be activated and deactivated with Sherlock mobile app

Just lost two expensive mtbs in NZ, would have loved to have caught them in the act as they were just outside.
Can’t wait to purchase two!

Thank you Rob! Sorry to hear about the thefts though.

Hi,

Can we use our sim card or it will there be a preinstalled card with the Sherlock ? If that’s the case, will there be any monthly subscription ?

My custom cyclocross bike got stolen a few weeks ago. I’ll definitely get this kind of device for my next build.

What’s the battery life and how will you ensure the device remains inside the handlebars when the bike moves? (Screwed? Glued? Expander?)

Hi SebPep! The battery lasts up to 2 weeks on a single charge for average use. The device is made to fit the handlebars with average diameter (please check our compatibility guide) and can be taped to secure it.

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