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Bikes taken include one put together by hand as unique engagement present

Police in Gloucestershire are warning that thieves may be targeting high-end bikes after a Cheltenham family suffered a theft in which mountain bikes worth a total of £20,000 were stolen from their garage.

The bikes taken included one worth £6,000 that 32-year-old Isabel Booth had handbuilt herself as an engagement present to her fiancé Rod, now her husband, and which he has never ridden due to injury.

Mrs Booth had worked on the bike, an Intense Tracer, at the workshop in the Cheltenham branch of Leisure Lakes bikes, reports This Is Gloucestershire.

"I spent months and months putting money aside to buy all the parts one bit at a time and then I went into the shop to make it myself," revealed Mrs Booth, a mother of three.

"I learned how to do it all in the workshop and they helped me to build it, so it was completely unique and can't be replaced."

The bike was one of six stolen on Saturday evening from the couple’s garage at their home in Cheltenham. All of the bikes were locked up.

Also stolen were three other bikes belonging to Mr Booth – a black Yeti SB-66 valued at £5,500, a carbon Lapierre Zesty 914 costing £5,250, and a red and black On-one 456 worth £2,250 – plus a red, white and black Specialised SSR Myka belonging to Mrs Booth worth £1,500, and her 12-year-old son Davey’s red Santa Cruz bike, worth £2,500.

According to This Is Gloucestershire, the value of the bikes meant that they could not be included on the couple’s household contents insurance policy, and no separate cover had been taken out for them.

Mrs Booth was in bed at the time the burglary took place, while Mr Booth was watching the Champions League Final. It is believed that the thieves forced the garage door open with a crowbar.

"I heard a bang at about 10.30pm, but it sounded like it was coming from the garden and I thought it was the dog running around," explained Mr Booth, who has twice before been the victim of bike theft in recent years.

"Back in 2009 I had bikes locked to a vehicle and went inside for a matter of minutes and when I came back they were gone," he explained.

"Then last Christmas Eve, a bike we bought Davey for his present was stolen, so we had to rush out to get another to replace it."

Scott Jones, worshop manager at Leisure Lakes Bikes Scott Jones, told This Is Gloucestershire: "For Isabel to build the bike was a really nice gesture. It was a pretty rare frame and nobody else would have had a bike like that. It's horrible to hear about this sort of thing."

Sergeant Tony Wallace of Gloucestershire Police commented: "The officers in Hester's Way [a suburb on the western edge of Cheltenham] have reported an increase in high-value bike thefts."

Anyone with information regarding the crime is asked to contact Gloucestershire Police on 101, quoting 114 of May 20.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

14 comments

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carlgrz [51 posts] 5 years ago
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The chances of catching the culprits or recovering the bikes are no doubt miniscule.
I'm gutted for them but there are plenty of insurance policies available for bikes outside of home contents insurance. My bike collection is worth a quarter of this particular haul but I can't afford to replace them so I stumped up for a decent policy. Whilst it isn't particularly cheap (on a par with my car insurance!) I know that if the worst happens I'm covered.
Who in their right mind would have 20k worth of anything so easily nicked and not have it insured?
A lesson for us all.

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withnails [78 posts] 5 years ago
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carlgz - could you pass on the details of your current insurers? Like this poor family I've struggled to find insurance cover that is adequate for high-end bikes, whilst also not having so many exclusions that it's made worthless. cheers

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mrmo [2093 posts] 5 years ago
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I think the police do know who it is,

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Batfink [18 posts] 5 years ago
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Erm, who in their right mind has £20,000 (pretend the £20,000 is in red, bold, italicised and flashing, it adds to the effect) worth of bikes and doesn't insure them? I feel for the family, but that's just mental.

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mrmo [2093 posts] 5 years ago
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re insurance, to be honest, in that part of town the insurers might just laugh at you! one of the suspected bike thieves lives round the corner!

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winprint [129 posts] 5 years ago
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I'm sorry to say I'm with the above.
£2,500 on a kids bike.
If my teen can save £475 for a Bianchi and still beat Kristian House up a CAT 4 climb, I'm sure the boy would be better off training on a lesser stead and then know the value of a decent bike when older.
Gutted for the family and fingers crossed they nab the scum.
 14

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farrell [1946 posts] 5 years ago
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winprint wrote:

I'm sorry to say I'm with the above.
£2,500 on a kids bike.
If my teen can save £475 for a Bianchi and still beat Kristian House up a CAT 4 climb, I'm sure the boy would be better off training on a lesser stead and then know the value of a decent bike when older.
Gutted for the family and fingers crossed they nab the scum.
 14

You could focus on that being a lot of money for a kids bike, or you could look at the £6000 on a handbuilt bike as an engagement present and think "This is a family who have a very strong affinity with bikes and cycling".

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Legin [120 posts] 5 years ago
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I managed to negotiate great cover for my bikes this year on a home insurance policy; two months after taking it up the insurance company phoned my broker to try and get out of covering the bikes! He refused to let them.

One of the factors that enabled the cover in the first place was the sensor burglar alarm that I have fitted to the garage, it is attached to the main house alarm.

I have about £10k's worth of bikes and having the garage alarmed just seems a sensible step to me.

I hope they get their bikes back.

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CraigHarris [5 posts] 5 years ago
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Surely that value of bikes in a garage should have protected by multiple high end chains (think Thatcham approved motorbike locks, not average mountain bike ones) and there certainly should have been an alarm.

I know personally I can't insure my bikes (2 of which are very expensive) because the unavoidable exclusions will almost always apply  2 ... I'm just very sensible about where I keep them and use extremely good locks.

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mrmo [2093 posts] 5 years ago
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if this is the same gang doing the rounds in Cheltenham, they have taken doors out, gone in with angle grinders, etc. This is not opportunistic, If they want the bike you have very little say in the matter.

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WolfieSmith [1380 posts] 5 years ago
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I keep my best bike in the house after a spate of thefts from club mates with garages. Does anyone know how to get chain oil out of a duvet cover?  4

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OldRidgeback [2769 posts] 5 years ago
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My brother and his son had their mid-price mountain bikes stolen from the top of his car when he went back inside to get something. He was only inside for a few minutes and the bikes were gone. The thieves then came back a month or so later, scaled the wall into the garden and broke into his shed so they could steal the replacements. My nephew then began bringing his replacement, replacement Kona inside - which needless to day my sister in law was less than happy about when he trailed mud all over the place.

He moved in the end.

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maboyctu [12 posts] 5 years ago
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Jesus, what kind of Spec is the On-One 456 if it's valued at £2500!!!!

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brylonscamel [21 posts] 5 years ago
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.. what's with the mean spirited comments on the value of the bikes? Nobody would blink twice at the cost of a motor vehicle that was worth £20k ...