A sudden surge in bike thefts in the borough of Weymouth and Portland in Dorset has lead to concerns that an organised gang is targeting the community, reports the Dorset Echo.
Bikes are currently being lifted at the rate of one per day and the same thieves are thought to have stolen 41 machines in the Weymouth town centre and Westham area alone, says the paper.
The thieves are apparently well equipped and able to break through the locks on bikes secured in public places in very short order. Consequently cyclists are being urged by local police to not only secure their bikes properly but do so in areas covered by CCTV cameras.
Since August, 90 bikes have been stolen in the borough, some of which went missing after raids on people’s homes.
PC Adam Bayliss of Weymouth Police told the Echo: “The selection of bikes appears to have been indiscriminate though the thieves generally appear prepared, with locks and chains being cut.
“Bikes of all values have been stolen including high value cycles, and unique ones. A lot of the thefts have occurred in the afternoon and in busy public areas.”
PC Bayliss added: “Members of the public should be reminded to secure their bicycles in well-lit areas using a good quality lock.
“The town centre does have a large amount of CCTV cameras as do a good proportion of the local shops, and where possible bikes should be secured in view of a camera or in public areas to increase the chance of witnesses.
“The public should remain vigilant to potential bike thieves.”
Vigilance is, of course, always a good deterrent against any kind of criminal activity but given the apparent determination of these criminals, maybe what cyclists in Weymouth and Portland also need is the safest bicycle lock in the world.