Police in London have arrested seven men today, who are suspected of being part of a criminal bike theft network at the notorious Brick Lane market.
As part of a co-ordinated operation between the City of London, Metropolitan and British Transport Police forces the men, aged between 21 and 49, were arrested on suspicion of handling stolen goods and money laundering and are currently in custody at a central London police station.
The Brick Lane market stall, police say, is believed to be where stolen bikes are bought and sold at "well below the legitimate price". The 20 bikes retrieved, which all had high value items like Brooks saddles, will be checked for bike security marking or smartwater labelling and officers will attempt to contact their owners.
Detective Inspector Doug Blackwood, of the City of London Police, said: "Today’s arrests show that the trade in stolen bikes will not be tolerated and we are working with our partners to dismantle these businesses.
"I would also like to tell those people that are buying expensive bicycles for a fraction of their value that you could well be handling stolen goods.
"This is a criminal offence and the old adage applies, if the price of a bike seems too good to be true, then it probably is."
Brick Lane, in East London, is notoriously a place where stolen bikes end up. Last month one man found someone attempt to sell his own stolen bike to a stallholder there, and managed to get his bike back.
Blackwood added today's action won't be the last of its kind, and the joint operation on the stolen bike trade will continue in the coming months. He urged anyone with information on the theft of stolen bikes to call 101, or to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
There were 375 bikes stolen in the Square Mile between April 2014 and March 2015. You can register your own bike for free at www.bikeregister.com.