Police warn of big rise in bike thefts in Newcastle-upon-Tyne

Officers say high-end bikes increasingly being targeted and believe thieves are using Gumtree and other sites to sell them on

by Simon_MacMichael   August 14, 2013  

Wheel from stolen bike © Simon MacMichael.JPG

Police on Tyneside say there has been a big increase in cycle theft in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in recent months, and have warned cyclists that thieves are increasingly targeting expensive bikes. Officers believe many of the bikes are being sold on websites such as Gumtree.

In June and July, 170 bikes were reported stolen in the city, reports the Chronicle. Of those, 65 were taken from the owner’s home, with the remainder stolen from where they had been left, including high-footfall city-centre locations.

In 50 instances, the bike had not been secured with a lock, which Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt from Northumbria Police told the newspaper was a common factor in cycle thefts.

“The majority of bike thefts are carried out by opportunist thieves who take advantage when they see a bike left unattended and insecure,” she explained.

With cycling on the rise and sales of expensive bikes rocketing in recent years, police say they are noticing a shift in the pattern of cycle theft.

“In other cases, those responsible will cut locks from bikes which have been left attached to a lamppost or railings,” Chief Inspector Pitt went on.

“It’s a crime that may seem quite low level but it has an impact on the individual - some of these bikes are worth up to £2,000 and so can be a great loss to a cyclist.

“We continue to do everything we can to trace the people believed to be involved in this type of crime - including patrolling those areas where we know offences taken place and those people we know are involved in this type of crime,” she added.

She explained that police are keeping an eye on websites such as Gumtree in the hope of spotting stolen bikes that have been put up for sale, as well as identifying people who regularly sell bicycles online.

One man has been arrested for using Gumtree to dispose of bicycles he had stolen, and in all Northumbria Police have arrested more than 20 people in connection with cycle theft over the summer, and many others for handling stolen property.

Chief Inspector Pitt outlined measures police are taking to try and beat the thieves.

“Over the recent weeks we’ve been cracking down on thieves as part of Operation Soundwave, tackling the people involved in opportunist thefts, and this will continue during the warm summer months when more people are out and about on their bikes,” she explained.

“We recover bikes we suspect are stolen but we don’t have any details of the original owner.

“We encourage cyclists to register with free website immobilise.com, where details of the bike’s make, model, serial number and other features can be recorded along with a photograph.”

This Saturday, police will be holding a free bike marking event at Northumberland Street in Newcastle city centre from 2pm to 4pm.

Details of each bike will be held on file to enable it to be reunited with its owner should it be stolen and subsequently recovered.

Last weekend, 70 of the 400 cyclists taking part in the Bike for Bobby ride which raised funds for the Sir Bobby Robson Foundation benefited from the free bike marking service when they returned to St James’s Park at the end of the event.

road.cc's bike locking Dos and Don'ts

Do lock your bike to a secure, immovable object - ideally one designed for the purpose
Do make sure the frame and both wheels are inside your lock, or use two locks, or locking wheel skewers on the front wheel
Do use a lock, and use it properly even if you are leaving your bike unattended for even a moment
Do remove lights and anything else that isn't securely fixed to your bike when you are locking it up
Do lock your bike when you get it home, especially if you keep it in a shed or garage
Do buy the best lock or locks that you can afford

Don't leave your bike unlocked and unattended even if you are just nipping in to shop
Don't  lock your bike up in a secluded location where a thief has time to work on your lock undisturbed
Don't lock your bike to trees or fences that can be easily cut through, or, posts or signs that it can be easily lifted over
Don't leave space in your shackle - that gives space for evil bike stealing tools to do their worst or leave your lock lying flat on the ground for the same reason
Don't forget your lock

We're strong believers in always filling your shackle but we're always looking for new ways to help beat bike thieves so if you've got any bike security tips you'd like to share let's hear them!

8 user comments

Oldest firstNewest firstBest rated

if I forget my lock when I find myself in a town centre, I loosen the saddle, place it sideways through some railings and then move the saddle back to its rightful position.

so now its fairly secure. it needs an allen key t remove the saddle etc, however if they have an allen key they probably have bold cutters for a lock anyway.

i should add, i dont leave it like this for hours, rather minutes if i need to pop into a shop thats nearby

Racer 074 for the 2014 Transcontinental Race; 2,000 miles from London to Istanbul.

http://themartincox.co.uk/2014/03/racer-074-transcontinental-race-2014/

posted by themartincox [298 posts]
14th August 2013 - 12:24

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chrispy likes this!

posted by mrchrispy [279 posts]
14th August 2013 - 13:06

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This is the used bicycle buying advice that we have on Bikesoup - http://www.bikesoup.co.uk/guides/used_bike_checklist

Just trying to help buyers of used bikes make an informed decision / appraisal, Ant

Bikesoup's picture

posted by Bikesoup [22 posts]
14th August 2013 - 13:56

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Useful lock advice here...
http://www.lfgss.com/thread17938.html

posted by ribena [128 posts]
14th August 2013 - 16:35

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I feel lucky I am security in my workplace and keep it in our locker room, at home a pretty well secured purposes built bike shed which if a thief wanted he could get my bike but would go through a nightmare in the process lol.

I saw in an advertisement the other day gps trackers for an that can be used in connection with a smartphone, I must get myself one remove the cap from handle bars and insert, would make sense..... now where was that advert

posted by billyman [122 posts]
14th August 2013 - 17:22

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need cheap gps trackers to be made, I'd love to have one for my bicycle

posted by TeamCC [146 posts]
14th August 2013 - 21:09

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I did read of someone attaching a tiny padlock through the chain when you leave it so that if it's nicked and they try to pedal it off, it catches on the rings and they go flying off. Crying

posted by Meaulnes [33 posts]
14th August 2013 - 23:09

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Meaulnes wrote:
I did read of someone attaching a tiny padlock through the chain when you leave it so that if it's nicked and they try to pedal it off, it catches on the rings and they go flying off. Crying

love this idea! can we also instal a private cctv to watch? then chase them around using the inexpensive gps tracker.... no punishment would be necessary, chasing for long enough would certainly result in them crashing

Feel the fear and do it anyway

hood's picture

posted by hood [110 posts]
15th August 2013 - 17:44

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