Lock up your bike and stop giving criminals an easy ride in Stevenage, say police
- Credit: Archant
Cyclists are being encouraged to record their bike details and leave machines securely locked in sensible places to avoid needless thefts.
Since April thieves have stolen more than 130 bikes in Stevenage and the crime continues to plague the town.
Stevenage Safer Neighbourhood Team Insp Simon Tabert said: “A lot of it is opportunist theft. We can’t say where most of the bikes end up. I believe some people steal a bike, cycle it home and discard it until it rots away and is scrapped.
“We also have high value bikes which are taken and sold on the black market.
“Often thieves will pitch up in a park and offer something worth £300 for £10 or £20, very close to the price of a bag of heroin. If there are a lot of drug users in an area it can be the reason behind the crime.”
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Insp Tabert says that because the crime happens so quickly it is very hard to detect, but people can help themselves by thinking about where they leave their bikes.
He said: “Very often someone sawing through a lock looks like someone trying to unlock a bike. I would encourage riders to think like the criminals.
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“When they leave a bike somewhere they should think if someone could steal it easily. They should also buy a good quality d-lock, which will prevent thefts.”
Many of the bikes recovered cannot be reunited with their owners because they didn’t provide enough details when they were stolen.
To tackle this, Insp Tabert is encouraging cyclists to record a detailed description of their bikes, including serial numbers, make and model and keep a picture of it stored on their phone or computer.
Unfortunately some cheaper bikes have matching serial numbers, making them virtually impossible to identify – which is why they need to be locked.
Police have been able to trace only three bike theft suspects and recover stolen property since April, and there are currently around 30 unclaimed bikes sitting at Stevenage police station.
Cyclists are being encouraged to visit the Lytton Way station and see if theirs has been found. If they can prove they are the owners the bike will be returned.
To book an appointment call 101.