Wednesday, 8 March 2017

‘Electros’ and ‘Bells Angels’: first biker gangs on electric cycles

Duisburg (dpo) - Authorities are alarmed: the Electros, Germany’s first gang of electric cyclists (or ‘e-bikers’), was founded last weekend. Competing gangs, including the Bells Angels and the E-Mongols, were established in other cities of the Ruhr district around the same time. Police are now concerned about an increase in gang violence.

Last night, the Electros were first to demonstrate their power with a good dozen members cruising the inner city of Duisburg on overly tuned electric bikes and in uniform gear (yellow safety vests with a socket patch). The whole episode died down after about 45 minutes when the group had to dissolve due to lack of battery power, forcing the e-bikers to walk home.
“All we can do is warn the public against them”, said Mike Jänisch, spokesperson of the German Federal Criminal Police Office. “These e-bikers have partly established mafia structures, and often appear in packs.” The most dangerous thing about them, though, is that you cannot hear them coming. “Victims report hearing a faint buzzing noise before suddenly finding themselves encircled by the gang.”
The Electros use a seedy frappucino bar in the suburbs as their headquarters, clearly distinguishable by the mean e-machines parked in front of it.
According to insider information, the Electros elected Dr Hubertus von Hoppenbüttel as their president, a former high school principal from a wealthy suburban area and now head of the gang. High-profile pedagogues are also said to have been chosen for the offices of vice president, secretary and treasurer. Nationwide, the number of “prospects”, recruited mainly in bourgeois areas, presumably runs into the thousands.
Electros’ logo
Further chapters are to be founded the cities of Hamburg, Kiel, Bochum and Düsseldorf. There have even been sightings of Electros in front of retirement homes, trying to recruit new members by offering them taster rides. Many members are also undermining and infiltrating charitable organisations as so-called “volunteers”. The main sources of income for e-biker gangs are the extortion of public libraries and ransacking of pension funds. Within the biker scene, turbulent times are to be expected. It seems there have already been dangerous confrontations with a rival e-biker gang. Members of the Electros are said to have attacked members of the Bells Angels with bicycle pumps and bike baskets. Several e-bikers suffered bruising and spectacles to the value of more than €700 (approx. US$ 750) were broken.
swo, ssi, dan; picture above: dpa; picture bikes: Shutterstock
Read the German version HERE.
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