Although the government does not keep official statistics about the get-away methods criminals use following robberies, a recent study shows they have an overwhelming preference. It’s by motorcycle.
Following a review of hundreds of robbery crime reports, Ecuador’s Interior Ministry says that 70% of escapes are on motorcycle.
The reason is obvious, the study says. “Cars can get stuck in traffic, whereas motorcycles can weave between lanes and even use sidewalks following a crime,” says Deputy Interior Minister Diego Fuentes. “In most cases, the police are pursuing the criminals in cars or SUVs which don’t have the maneuverability of motorcycles.,” he says.
Fuentes adds that most motorcycle crimes are committed in times of heavy traffic, since the perpetrators know the escape will be easier.
More than 60% of Ecuador’s motorcycle crimes are committed in Guayaquil and Quito, mostly due to the fact that those cities have the heaviest traffic, the ministry study shows. Other cities with high rates of motorcycle get-aways are Manta, Esmeraldas and Santa Domingo.
Two weeks ago, a Cuenca financial cooperative was robbed by two men who fled by motorcycle. The men reportedly escaped with $6,000, shooting a bank guard in the leg in the process.
According to Fuentes, most of the motorcycles used in crimes are stolen, and many come from Peru or Colombia where motorcycle crimes are much more widespread than in Ecuador. He says that many of the bikes are equipped with high-performance tires for quick get-aways and some have throttles relocated to the left handlebar so robbers can hold a gun in their right hand.
The ministry study says a large percentage of robberies occur on city streets, with most of those involving robbers reaching through open vehicle windows to snatch purses and computers.