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05/04/2012 // INFO Leave a comment

Bikers stalked before homes targeted for thefts


Bike shed

Bike crime appears to be mirroring the practices of organised criminal behaviour with news from Bristol that mountain bike owners there are being targeted by criminals for burglaries/thefts of bikes within their own homes. 

Avon and Somerset Police has recently reported the practice of mountain bikers being followed home by gangs of thieves to build up reconnaissance before actual thefts take place.

Riders followed home

An e-mail dated March 27 seen by the Bristol Evening Post from Elaine Collingwood, the constabulary’s Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator for South Bristol, reads: “There has been an increase in the number of burglaries and shed breaks where high-value bicycles are being stolen. It is thought that a group of individuals are targeting victims whilst owners are out and about on their mountain bikes at places like Leigh Woods and Ashton Court, before following them home.

“Offenders are then targeting houses and sheds, breaking padlocks and also in some cases entry has been gained by ripping out the shed roof.”

Unusual crime patterns

The e-mail from PC Collingwood gives details of a burglary in Howard Road, Southville on March 27, when five bikes, together worth £16,000, were stolen.

That burglary is thought to be just one of 28 such incidents in March 2012 where bicycles have been taken from homes in Bristol, according to Avon and Somerset Police.

Leigh Woods and Ashton Court are known for their trails and used locally by riders. In the Howard Road burglary, some of the bikes had been used at Ashton Court the previous weekend.

The Bristol Evening Post report states that there have been rumours and anecdotal evidence of bike riders being targeted in this way for some time.

The newspaper highlights a case involving Ross Terry and Anthea Hawke. They used the Ashton Court track on Sunday afternoon and were later burgled, with Mr Terry’s £5,000 Ibis Mojo HD and Miss Hawke’s £850 Trek 6300 taken from their home as they slept. The couple’s car was also stolen but this may have been due to the keys being visible. Other items in the house that could have easily been taken as well were not touched.

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See also

Electric bike scheme could lift National Park tourism

Tricycle riding 10-year old charged for bike theft

from Going Going Bike – Auctions, Bike News, Cycle Stuff

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