Thieves target Bristol pro cyclist and roadcc tester - steal high end road and MTB bikes

Please look out for four high end Orbeas + Merckx EMX3 Athena stolen in Bristol last night

by Tony Farrelly   June 7, 2012  

Fears that a gang of professional bike thieves are operating in the Bristol area were confirmed last night when a number of bikes were stolen from the home CNP Orbea rider and road.cc tester John Whittington in the Redland area of Bristol.

Some time between 9pm and 6am thieves broke in to the occupied house in which the bikes were stored, bypassing security measures to steal a number of high end bikes and equipment. The targeted nature of the raid was emphasised by the fact that only high value items were stolen - John's commuter and training bikes were left behind.

Stolen bikes

Merckx EMX3 Athena, red/black carbon.


Orbea Alma G10 L/26inch, white carbon, white marzzochi forks, xt brakes, mavic slr wheels, USE seatpost/handlebars, sticker with name on seatstay.


Orbea Alma S30 L/26inch, white/blue alu, sticker with name on seatstay.


Obrea Onix, blue/carbon, FSA SLR cranks (not in photo) sticker with name on toptube. 

Stolen parts

Cyclops Powertap (in Orbea Onix)
Exposure Lights Joystick Light
Gemini Xera Light
FSA KFORCE Riser Handle Bar
Shimano XTR Pedals

We also have some videos of two of the bikes stolen.

That the raid was a planned and targeted affair seems clear - John travel with his bikes and had been away racing until yesterday, the thieves also broke in to his van looking for items to steal - even though it was not parked outside his house.

Recently we reported on fears that a gang was targeting mountain bikers in Bristol following riders of high end bikes home from local ride spots and then returning to steal their bikes later. Over the years we have also reported on a number of cases in which professional and semi professional riders in the Bristol and surrounding areas have had their bikes stolen - with the thieves usually targeting only the most valuable items. It seems clear that whoever is doing this knows exactly what they are stealing and has links to the cycling world.

We would ask everyone to keep a look out for these bikes which could surface either in the local area or another part of the country - if you are offered an Orbea or Merkx (or the frames or component parts) at a suspiciously low price, please be aware that they may be stolen and if you think they are call the Avon & Somerset Police on 0845 456 7000 and mention the Redland bike burglarly.

18 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

scumbags .... which general locale in Brizzle ? I'll post
up on a couple of local forums.

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [698 posts]
7th June 2012 - 10:41

like this
Like (1)

Terrible news John. I feel absolutely gutted for you Sad

posted by Liam Glen [147 posts]
7th June 2012 - 10:46

like this
Like (1)

Thanks therevokid, Redlands - I'll add that to the story

Tony Farrelly's picture

posted by Tony Farrelly [4135 posts]
7th June 2012 - 10:49

like this
Like (1)

Thanks for getting this up guys. Doing a good job of making it as difficult as possible for these thieves to gain from this. Even broken down, the carbon Alma frames just don't come up for sale very often.

posted by John Whittington [73 posts]
7th June 2012 - 11:04

like this
Like (1)

Yeah, and worth trawling the free ads daily to see what's coming up.

Like this ad for a 'racing bike' that definitely doesn't sound stolen at all.

http://www.gumtree.com/p/for-sale/felt-racing-bike--carbon-fibre-frame/1...

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [972 posts]
7th June 2012 - 13:26

like this
Like (1)

Redland ... bugger, that's too close for comfort ....

cheesy riders and nbcc now posted. There's a police
officer that deals with this in Bristol ... I'll get
the details and post that too.

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [698 posts]
7th June 2012 - 13:28

like this
Like (0)

Only that it isn't a carbon fibre frame. You can see the welds on the top tube!

posted by boardmanrider [67 posts]
7th June 2012 - 13:41

like this
Like (0)

ah ha ....

Detective Mark Newbury
Avon and Somerset Police

0117 945 4503
0782 575 6755

work: mark.newbury@avonandsomerset.police.uk

still on the 3rd switch-back of Bwlch !

posted by therevokid [698 posts]
7th June 2012 - 13:41

like this
Like (0)

boardmanrider wrote:
Only that it isn't a carbon fibre frame. You can see the welds on the top tube!

Well spotted - it's a Felt Dispatch so aluminium.

Poor effort all round. Wonder what the sticker is off.

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [972 posts]
7th June 2012 - 13:46

like this
Like (1)

i'm going to ask: john is prolific on strava and is keen to bag KOMs.

did he hide his locality? (sufficiently, i.e to avoid easy triangulation by thieving scum waiting to see where the chap in CNP orbea kit lives)

posted by pj [139 posts]
7th June 2012 - 14:40

like this
Like (0)

pj wrote:
i'm going to ask: john is prolific on strava and is keen to bag KOMs.

did he hide his locality? (sufficiently, i.e to avoid easy triangulation by thieving scum waiting to see where the chap in CNP orbea kit lives)

His public strava profile does include a nice shopping list of bikes...

Poor John.

Sarah Barth's picture

posted by Sarah Barth [972 posts]
7th June 2012 - 14:41

like this
Like (1)

At least they left the commuter. The anguish would be worse with an unfamiliar seat to remind you every day. Hope the vermin die soon.

493rd in GC Fantasy TdF 2014

posted by Sanderville [212 posts]
7th June 2012 - 16:00

like this
Like (1)

Email, Tweet, Facebook, Text to everyone you know in the cycling community.
It's amazing how they will rally round.
LVYCC recently had a bike stolen at one of it's races.
By using all of the above; Condor, LMNH, Rapha and others put posters up.
Before long the old bill had caught the culprits.
Best of luck and as Shaw Taylor would say; "keep em peeled."
p.s. Remember to put an exclusion zone on Strava ect.

Ian of Woodford

winprint's picture

posted by winprint [122 posts]
7th June 2012 - 20:11

like this
Like (0)

it is possible to get stolen bikes back, but sometimes it takes a while. will put details on BSCC page.

posted by pj [139 posts]
8th June 2012 - 21:02

like this
Like (0)

Dam unfortunate this...RT'd on twitter.

posted by yenrod [100 posts]
8th June 2012 - 21:16

like this
Like (1)

i would definitely keep an eye on gumtree. it seems full of "racing bikes" that look suspicious to me. some of these bikes may pop up there after a while. Thinking

posted by jamjam [61 posts]
8th June 2012 - 22:51

like this
Like (1)

jamjam wrote:
i would definitely keep an eye on gumtree. it seems full of "racing bikes" that look suspicious to me. some of these bikes may pop up there after a while. Thinking

I've seen the same said of ebay - bikes are advertised a month or so later, by which time the owner may have stopped checking. One way to keep an eye there is to browse a whole section as the tea-leaf is likely not to use the brand or model in the title, and use a search that only has exclusions in it in the search box e.g.

-(BMX,kids,girls,boys)

Sort the results by distance from your postcode.

It may be worth posting this on Bikeradar's stolen forum (and check the sticky posts at the top first).

Pretty unpleasant thing to happen, it would be good if the bastards were caught.

Simon E's picture

posted by Simon E [1946 posts]
9th June 2012 - 22:27

like this
Like (1)

I recovered a bike thanks to Bikeradar's stolen forum - was on gumtree the next day within a mile of my house. These guys sound a bit more professional but worth trying everything.

posted by msw [125 posts]
10th June 2012 - 22:17

like this
Like (1)