Patrols stepped up after bike thefts at Hitchin railway station

Bike Racks at Hitchin Railway Station

Bike Racks at Hitchin Railway Station - Credit: Archant

A SPATE of thefts have hit a railway station, with thieves targeting passengers’ secured bikes and forcing their locks open before making off with them.

There have been 22 reported bicycle thefts from Hitchin railway station in just one year - nearly double the 12 in the same period previously - with a further three thefts from cycles in that time.

And one commuter has had his bike stolen three times in the past 12 months, despite always leaving it secured.

Alex Pastor commutes into London for work, cycling from his home in Gosmore to the railway station.

He left his £650 bike in the racks at the station last week, only to return to find it gone. It follows another incident in December and a further one earlier in 2012.

His wife Tracey said: "It's very frustrating and I think it’s worth highlighting.

"The bike was in the racks outside the railway station and it was pinched while he was working.

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"It's the third one stolen in past 12 months from the same place. When he went in and reported it, he was told they were getting lots (of bikes stolen)."

British Transport Police told the Comet it is aware of the problem and will be upping patrols in the area.

Sergeant Robbie Woods said: "We are continuing to work with First Capital Connect and local police officers to tackle cycle theft at Hitchin station.

"In the coming weeks we will be stepping up patrols at the station, and others along the line, to deter and catch thieves.

"Cycles are a popular target for thieves because of their sell-on value, but people can take a number of steps to ensure their bike is adequately marked and secured to help reduce their risk of it being stolen.

"It's important that you register your bike and use a solid lock to secure it. If your bike is adequately marked it reduces its desirability to thieves because it will easily be identified as stolen property.”

First Capital Connect spokesman Roger Perkins added: "We were concerned to hear about Mr Pastor's experience and will work with the British Transport Police to help tackle this.

"Cycling is an important part of our strategy to encourage greener, cleaner transport to our stations that relieves congestion on local roads. This is why, at Hitchin, we have doubled the number of bike parking spaces. We are right now replacing a single-storey bike rack with one that is two-storey to add a further 56 places to lock up under cover.”

For information on how to protect your property please click here