Bike thieves in Manchester are targeting Britain’s top cyclists, claims a ParalympicsGB hopeful who recently had two bikes stolen.
Lauryn Therin, who rides as a tandem pilot for Paralympian Rhiannon Henry, had bikes and other equipment worth over £4,000 stolen from a garage last month.
In February, thieves took two bikes worth £5,000 from the home of Olympic track cyclist Owain Doull after breaking through the roof of his garage.
Therin, who is aiming for a spot at the Rio 2016 Paralympics, says elite cyclists in Manchester are being “watched and targeted” by thieves.
She was away competing when thieves broke into the garage between April 18 and 22 and took a £2,500 black track bike worth £2,500, a red BMX worth £1,000 and £1,000-worth of wheels and tyres.
Therin told the Manchester Evening News: “We are being watched and targeted. They see us riding around the area in our Team GB kits and know we are on expensive bikes.
“These are good quality bespoke bikes, made to our exact dimensions and they are irreplaceable which makes it all the more frustrating.
“These bikes mean a lot, they have sentimental value and are part of our journey as an athlete as we compete on them.
“We train hard and represent our country and communities, we are just trying to do our job and people come and take away what we need to get the job done. It takes a certain type of mentality to steal and it is unacceptable.”
Detective constable Samuel Findlay said: “These bikes belong to a professional cyclist and we are keen to find them as soon as possible.
“We are urging anyone who was in the area and saw anyone acting suspiciously to get in touch with police. The bicycles are very distinctive, so if you have been offered either of them please call us.”
Anyone with information should call police on 061 856 5902 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.