Metal theft in the West Midlands area is becoming such a problem that West Midlands Police is warning bike owners to make sure they properly lock their bikes following a recent spike in bike thefts.
In Birmingham, West Midlands Police have noticed a recent spike in bicycle theft in the southern areas of the city with thieves’ targeting not high-end expensive bikes but older models that may have steel frames.
Metal has value
Such bikes are perceived to have little value for owners or don’t carry any price on the second hand market but West Midlands Police believe that older bike are being nicked so they can be sold on to metal merchants.
Once sold on to metal merchants, the bikes are crushed and the resulting metal is sold abroad to places like China, where metal is in great demand. The high value of scrap metal is encouraging the crime wave, West Midlands Police told The Birmingham Mail.
Student areas targeted
One area that is being hit hard is Selly Oak, where a lot of University of Birmingham students live. Students typically have cheaper bike models to get around with and our less security minded about how they lock up their bikes.
Metal theft is an increasing problem with thieves stealing everything from the lead flashing from the roofs of properties to copper piping and metal drainage covers.