Police warning after eight bike theftsBy Jon Nurse
August 08, 2012
As the Olympic Games inspire a generation of new cyclists, police are warning the summer is the prime time for bike thefts.
Eight bicycles were stolen across the borough last weekend – some were left unlocked for a short time while some were in a locked garage or shed.
Thames Valley Police have produced a leaflet advising cyclists on how to protect and secure their bikes this summer.
Wokingham Neighbourhood Team Inspector Greg Elphick said: “I wouldn’t say we’re experiencing a cycle theft crime wave but there have been a few shed and garage thefts in the last few days.
“With our Olympic track and road success and the prospect of hundreds of shiny new bikes being bought this summer it is a good time for bike owners to give bike security a bit more thought.
“These flyers are being sent out electronically to our Neighbourhood Watch people and I’ll be asking the parish councils to post a few up around their noticeboards.”
An unlocked bike hidden in a bush was stolen from Bentley Drive in Arborfield Garrison last Friday.
Another bike was stolen from a garage in Murray Road, Emmbrook, on Saturday after the owner left the door open and went inside for around 10 minutes.
Three bikes were stolen from back gardens in Winnersh over the weekend. Thieves forced open the doors to a garden shed in Azalea Close on Saturday night and took two bikes, while a third was taken from a home in Laburnum Road.
Intruders also forced their way into a locked shed in Church Street, Twyford, on Saturday night, stealing two bikes, while a bicycle, which had been locked to a fence in front of a home in Mount Pleasant, Emmbrook, was also taken.
The police leaflet warns cyclists that a bike is stolen every minute across the UK, more frequently than cars or motorbikes, and less than five per cent of those are returned to their owners.
A recent survey by www.bikeoff.org found many thefts are not reported as people believe police are not interested in tackling bicycle thefts.
The polices believe bike thieves can be categorised into four groups – joy riders, thieves stealing specific types of bikes to order, opportunist thieves who steal anything in exchange for cash or other goods and drug addicts.
Anyone with information which could assist the police with the incidents last weekend should ring 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.