Police are warning of inadequate security devices fitted to bicycles after a staggering £95,000 worth of cycles were stolen over a 7-month period in Exeter.
Of the 240 offences during February-August this year, 36 were stripped of parts and 204 stolen outright. Fifty-six of these were left either outside a residential property or shop, or left unattended in a communal area. Whilst the majority of bikes were secured with a lock, these were cropped.
Police say serious bike owners will typically spend over £500 on a new bike, yet unsuspectingly use a locking device that proves ineffective against the proficient bike thief.
“Stolen bikes are either sold on or stripped of parts” said Exeter’s community safety Sergeant Beverley Weston. “It’s rare to recover bikes in one piece. Most are stripped for spare parts which are unidentifiable when sold on".
When bikes are kept in one piece, the serial number is usually filed off and the frame re-sprayed. This is a clear indication that the bike has been stolen.
Exeter police are reminding people that it is an offence to purchase a stolen bike or parts. They advice to buy a bike only from someone you trust and never buy a bike that is without a serial number.
The most common time for a bike offence is overnight and most are taken from rear gardens, sheds or garages.
Bike owners are urged to spend as much as they can afford on a high quality lock and seek the advice of a professional bike retailer. Locks badged with ‘sold secure’ means they have been fully tested and given a gold, silver or bronze rating.
When unattended, bikes should be securely locked, stored in a safe, high footfall area and if possible, where CCTV is present.
Bikes should not be left outside at night unless the security measures will hold up. Sheds and garages should be secured with high quality security devices.
Many bikes are recovered each year but are unable to be reunited with their owners due to not being security marked or because they have not been registered online.
Bikes can be registered online at www.bikeregister.com. BikeRegister was created by cycle enthusiasts who wanted to do something positive to help prevent bike thefts and reduce cycle crime.
If you have had a bike stolen recently, please telephone Exeter Police on Tel 101, referencing the bike serial number and any identifiable marks.
If anyone is seen tampering with a bike, please report this immediately to your local police team Tel: 101. Information can be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers Tel: 0800 555 111.