Following a spate of bike thefts in the town, police in Warrington are targeting bike thieves and warning cyclists to secure their bikes properly.
Between 1 January and 5 March, Cheshire Police received 120 reports of shed burglaries and 70 recorded offences of bicycle theft.
The force say they have set about rectifying this by targeting suspicious people using bikes in high risk areas.
Inspector Richard Spedding, from the Northern Partnerships Unit said: “This operation is in response to ongoing crime patterns that have become apparent in the area. Dedicated resources have been allocated to tackle this issue.
"We want to make it clear to criminals that if they commit a crime in Warrington, they will be caught. As a result of this operation we have already made three arrests in two separate incidents and recovered stolen bicycles that have been returned to their owners."
He added: “By working in partnership with local communities we can make Warrington a hostile place for criminals. As well as taking heed of the crime prevention advice I would urge people to remain vigilant and report to the police anyone or thing that they feel is suspicious."
Cheshire Police have also issued some simple crime prevention advice to help deter opportunistic criminals:
Store your bicycle securely at home in a garage or shed or bring it inside your property. Lock or chain bicycles together or to something fixed or bulky as this reduces the ability for them to be stolen.
Consider fitting a shed alarm and improve the exterior lighting around your home to deter offenders.
Property mark your bicycle(s) frames using an ultraviolet pen or other form of property marking, to enable it to be returned to you should it be stolen and recovered.
Always lock the building where the bicycle is stored using a good quality lock that can be bolted to the door and frame. Use disc lock padlocks which have a less exposed shackle and are less prone to attack.
Park your bicycle in a safe, well lit place. Always lock your bike when leaving it, even if it’s only for a few minutes.
Secure your bike including frame and wheels to a fixed immovable object such as a bike rack or lamp post using a good quality bicycle lock. Keep a note of the make, model and serial number and if possible take a photograph.
All good advice, and we'd recommend you take a look at the road.cc bike locking bible.
Anyone with any information is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101. Information can also be passed on anonymously, via Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.
John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.