Cirencester cyclists warned after spate of bike thefts
2:24pm Friday 2nd March 2012 in News
CYCLISTS in Cirencester are being urged to keep their bikes secure by local police following a number of thefts in the town this week.
Since last Friday, February 24, six bikes have been stolen from sheds or bike racks:
- A gun metal grey and red Saracen Kili men’s mountain bike was stolen from a garden shed in the rear garden of a home in Albion Street between 6pm on February 28 and 7am on February 29.
- A blue and white GT Aggressor men’s mountain bike was cut from a fence it was chained to in Gibson Court between 8.30am and 6pm on February 27.
- A red and white Cannondale men’s mountain bike was stolen from a shed at a home in Nursery Road between 3pm on February 27 and 9.30pm on February 24.
- A second bike, a black and green Trek 3500, was stolen from the same bike rack between 8.30am and 6pm on February 27.
- A grey Saracen men’s mountain bike was stolen from a bike rack at a business on Tetbury Road in Cirencester between 6.30pm and 9.30pm on Friday February 24.
- A green Trek 3700 Serious men’s mountain bike was stolen from a shed at a home in Bowly Crescent between 7pm and 8.30pm on February 28.
The total value of all the bikes stolen is thought to exceed £3500.
Crime Prevention Officer for the county, Paul Francis, said: “With the weather getting warmer more people may be using bikes and storing them in their sheds and so burglars are opting for these easy pickings at the end of the garden. We are keen to teach cyclists the best ways to store their bikes to significantly reduce the chances of it being stolen.”
Bicycles left unlocked in a back garden or a shed are often thought to be secure by their owners due to the privacy of the location. Unfortunately this is not the case; thieves will jump over garden walls and remove anything they can find within. Bikes get thrown over garden walls and then taken away. Some are recovered over the next few days, but many are not.
Paul continued: “Sadly wooden sheds with no additional security measures do not provide protection against anything more than the weather. We are urging residents to look carefully at the way they store their bike and ask them to consider taking action with our security suggestions.”
- If you have a brick shed ensure that the door and lock are strong. Mortise locks are preferable to padlocks.
- Give yourself something to lock your bike to by setting a shackle or chain into a concrete floor.
- Not quite as effective as the concrete floor but still adequate is getting a large bucket and setting an old D-lock or chain into it in concrete (but make sure that the total weight is at least 25 kilos).
- In a back or front garden it is worth getting an anchor inserted into the wall to secure a bicycle.
- If you have several bikes of high value you may consider one of the commercially available ‘bike boxes’ in which complete bikes can be stored securely and kept dry too.
- In addition to giving advice on shed security Police are keen to highlight the mistakes often made when securing a bike in the hope that by owners and the Police working together the number of thefts can be lowered.
Key mistakes are:
- Buying a high value bicycle and a low value lock.
- Locking the bike through only the front wheel, frame, or back wheel
- Locking it to 'itself' - note that the bike is not immobilised, only unrideable
- Locking it by its front wheel next to a bicycle with an unlocked front wheel.
- Locking it by its back wheel next to a bike with an unlocked back wheel.
- Locking it to a sign or post less than 9 feet tall (you can lift a bike this high)
- Assuming that thieves are unskilled and unknowledgeable about bikes.
- Leaving the bike unlocked and unattended.
Paul concluded: “Bikes are held in great esteem by those who love them but treated with contempt by those who wish to steal them for profit or use. But a large number of bike thefts reported are entirely preventable. We urge owners to use common sense and follow security advice to help us move bike theft out of the realms thieves.”
Anyone with any information about the thefts is asked to contact the Cirencester Local Policing Team by dialling 101. You can also give information anonymously by contacting the charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org and you may receive a reward if someone is arrested and charged.